There is a bit of transference…

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I’m going to continue on this tangent about books.

I’ve dropped reading Horror for a little while to work on my craft. I’m finding that when I read better writing my writing improves. I’ve ignored this for a while as I knew it happened, as it’s happened before, but I really like horror.

My current read is The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. While reading it I’m realizing a few things about my own writing as well as ways to improve my craft. These things have to do with paragraphs and how to structure them. The problem is I’ve written a blog for so long that what I do on here flows into my other writing. The short clipped sentences you’re “supposed” to use in blogs made their way into my novel writing.

When I discovered this I knew I had to change a lot of my writing. The latest rejection told me that there were a lot of single-sentence paragraphs, which I knew came from my blog writing. I will be adjusting this and you will see that adjustment. I’m trying to get the length correct and keep to one idea within each paragraph. I’m aware this is how paragraphs should work but the way I used to right created problems and I’ve fixed them along the way to where I am. These adjustments took time to break and I’m still working on them.

Now I love horror, but sometimes the language and the structure isn’t as good in horror as it is in other fiction. There are writers whose prose baffles me. I’ll look at some writer’s work and think, “damn I can’t do that.” Afterward, I think, but I’m going to work on it until I can. That is my goal in this art, to get better.

I know this is a bit different for me, but I’ll continue to write on this blog, it may come across a bit different as I work on my craft issues. I hope you’ll stay as adjustments are made.

Rejection, rebirth, rewrite, reconstruct

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I find the time that when a rejection comes in I struggle the most with this writing thing. I’m sure it’s the same with everyone. When a rejection comes in that is constructive I analyze what’s wrong with the story, according to the feedback.

Sometimes it’s the same feedback my wife had recently given me, which helps and certainly hurts as well.

After I’ve gone through the draft I see the instances they’re talking about. The after effect of this stings, but it makes me better.

There is a part of this process of analyzing the draft that feels different. It’s when I’ve read it and realize where I can fix the story. Where I can adjust it and where I can do away with parts of the draft. This is the rebirth of the draft. It becomes a new draft in this instance.

A rewrite and possible reconstruction of the draft follows this.

This is when the heavy lifting begins.

This all led from a great rejection I received. Yes they do happen.

I’ve decided to put all my other projects on hold until I can get this story that was a novella, but I’m going to stretch it out into a novel.

The story is kind of personal and I want to make it better. I wrote the first draft a couple of years ago. It’s now on the fourth or fifth draft. I lost it once and almost gave up on the story entirely. When I found it I almost cried. There are moments of joy in writing and that was one of them.

I am enjoying writing on here every day. I’ll continued to do it since I’m isolating after my positive test. Monday or Tuesday, if I’m showing now symptoms will be my last day.

Back to reconstructing this project.

The record is only playing one song…

I intended to write a project for NaNoWriMo, then I realized there are three novels that need edits. I hit 5k on the NaNo project but it will have to wait until I’ve edited the three novels.

It will take me a while before I’m able to tackle something of long form. I have ideas for more novels, one that I know will be the next one I write.

I wrote two novels this past year, both of them need editing. One of them still needs a first pass.

I have a big fear in doing this: I often worry something won’t get written because I’m editing or writing short form. I’m not sure where this idea comes from. I’ve written about it before.

I have stories to write. and one of my goals for this year is being published. This hasn’t happened. I believe its because I haven’t been editing.

I’ve talked about this editing issue numerous times. I thought it would interfere with my creative process, what I’ve learned is it’s part of my creative process. Without learning how to fix story issues I’d have fifty novels written, none edited, which was where I was headed before making this decision.

For the rest of the year I’ll only be writing short stories, focusing on improving my problem areas, narration, dialogue, and visuals. I’ll be editing the three novels into the new year. The short stories I’m writing will go through an editing process after I feel the novels are in decent shape.

I love creating new stories, but I don’t want to have fifty novels written and none of them edited. Yes, my writing is improving, thanks to the writing group I joined and determination, but I feel its time to step away from writing novels for a while. It’s time edit the work I’ve already done.

I want what any writer wants, I want to see my books published. They won’t get there without improvement.

I’m breaking this record, it keeps skipping and coming back to haunt me. If you’ve read my recent posts, you’ll understand.

Back to work my Wretched.

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I follow a lot of various motivators on social media, Gary Vaynerchuk, Lewis Howes, Tom Bilyeu, and others. I follow these people for various reasons. I love Gary’s honesty, Lewis Howes the same. I follow Tom because I love his podcast.

There is something that’s been nagging me about following these motivators. I shouldn’t need them. I should be able to write without having someone tell me to keep going.

But that’s the problem, I don’t. It doesn’t compute that I can’t do this myself. I need that kick in the ass every once in a while.

Today was a good example. Gary posted on Instagram about doing one thing that makes you uncomfortable.

My thing is editing. I feel like the time I spend editing is the time I could be writing. I also feel that I’m doing it wrong. That there is some magical formula to editing. After writing seven novels, I feel like it should get easier to edit, it doesn’t.

The fact that I’ve written seven novels and I’ve only submitted one of them to agents is appalling to me. It didn’t use to be. I thought I’d get better at writing through writing, I was wrong. I get better through editing.

It’s taken me thirteen years to realize this. It shouldn’t have taken this long.

When I finished my first novel, a vampire book that I love, I thought I’ll just keep rewriting. There are 8 drafts of that novel on my hard drive. None of them will ever come out. At the time there was no one, other than my wife to bounce ideas off of. Now that I have a writing group, I feel like I can do this.

Editing is the hardest part of writing. The taking away of pieces I loved in the draft, moving them around and creating a coherent, cohesive story is more important than writing something new.

I hate that it has taken this long to understand this.

Here’s what I’ll be doing to finish, truly finish the last three novels I’ve written: By the end of March 2019 I’ll be editing each novel through my writing group. I’ll post the progress on Delusions of Ink for each project.

What are you doing that makes you uncomfortable? Tell me in the comments. Let us keep each other going.

How Fear Drove Me From “Finishing” a Novel

  
Creating a world from nothing means eventually we have to show it to someone.

How we deal with their comments and whether we understand how they’re trying to help us is all on us.

One year ago, I had my cousin go over one of my stories. It’s a novel and I love the story, but having someone critique it, well, I guess I wasn’t ready for it.

I’ve thought about that story more recently.

The red sand, dancing pictures and who each character is have come to mean something to me and after a year of stops and starts on other stories, it’s time.

Each story is different for every writer, this one left me wanting to write more. I wanted to walk with them, discuss what they were doing and hear them ask, “Why’d you abandon us?”

My only answer, “Fear, I feared going back. Putting you on a table and cutting bits and pieces from who I thought you were and the thought of changing you, well, it scared the shit out of me.”

“But, we were supposed to go places, see things?”

“It’s only temporary. I’m ready to do the work, now that the writing is done it’s time to cut in, take things away and create something worthy of how I see you.”

“Okay, if that’s what you need to do. We’re ready too.”

This conversation may or may not have happened, the point is that a story we create, characters we live with for months and people we learn to love, sometimes we have to kill our darlings.

Killing them, gutting them and distributing who they are around the story, to make it better, that’s why I write.

The hardest part of writing is the killing, gutting and making the story into a cohesive piece of work, rather than an amalgam of what we think it should be.

The story, its characters, what their role is and how each puzzle piece fits into the story, that’s the important stuff, that is what makes us finish something and send it off.

I forgot that and now that I’ve had my discussion with the story, I’m ready to do the work, clean it up and send it off.