Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rewrite Update

I don't have a lot of news at the moment - I just wanted to check-in with my progress on the re-write.  I currently have 25,000 words and am definitely getting back into the flow of my story.  I still have some concerns about my writing style, though.  Because I've been through all this twice before (with my first novel and the original version of my current piece) I am starting to detect distinct patterns in my style.  I'm not sure if this is good or bad.  I mean, I've already identified my writing flaws, but beyond those, even the good stuff seems a bit predictable at times (at least to me).  

A concrete example of this would be the way I structure my chapters.  I try to start with a scene so that the reader is grounded in place and time.  Then I usually lapse into a flashback, which might be a few paragraphs or a few pages long, in order to give the reader a better sense of context of what's going on in the present time.  I'm working hard to cut down on chunks of exposition (my #1 weakness) by replacing them with scene (even in flashbacks).  

I guess the reason I feel that my writing is becoming predictable and formulaic is because I have analyzed it to death in order to continually improve.  I'm just hoping the unsuspecting reader will be too entrenched in the narrative to be as aware as I am of all the thought I put into structure.  I suppose that's every writer's goal - to make their labor-intensive work look effortless!

FIGURING IT OUT AS I GO:  Before I started seriously writing, I never really took the time to think about how much intense planning and scrutiny go into producing a half-decent piece of fiction.  It really is a fine art.  I suppose we writers just have to remember that non-writers reading our manuscripts/books simply want to be engrossed and entertained.  They probably won't care whether this is accomplished through flashback, (well-written) exposition, or whatever other "crutch" we tend to employ.


  1. It sounds like you are keeping a critical eye on your writing, which is good. It is definitely easy to be TOO critical of our work, however, and notice things that others' would not. Guess that's where a good beta comes in hand!

  2. Thanks for validating my fears that maybe, just maybe, I'm being a little too self-critical at the moment. You're right about a good beta ... I'm gearing up to post my first chapter in a few weeks for you all to read and critique (once I put it through the ringer a few more times on my own!)

  3. I worry about overworking things too! It gets hard to look at my work objectively after months of revision. Thank goodness for good betas!