Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cleaning Up the Puke

Okay, so a few weeks ago, I blogged about my disgusting habit of throwing up the first draft. It's how I roll, pantser-style, yo.

Of course, you can imagine the mess my document is in by the time I get back to it. Hey, I just realized something! Maybe that's why I have like, eight novels on my hard drive that I've never looked at again. They're just too stinky, too much upchuckage. Or something.

But the ones I do get back to opening, oh man. They're beyond mess.

Here's how I go about cleaning up the puke:
1. Print the MS -- divide it into thirds.
2. Read and make notes on tiny post-its. This sounds fancy. It isn't.
3. NOTE: I don't line edit. I don't rewrite -- yet. I'm simply reading to see if things work. They usually aren't even close.
4. Take the first third. Put on the headphones. Pick up a red pen. Sometimes purple. Whatever.
5. Begin massive rewrite. Focus on A) character B) world and C) the writing. Plot points have been addressed on the tiny post-its.
6. When a tiny post-it comes into play, I turn into a decision-maker: Delete? Rework? If so, how? (Yeah, I'll admit that it's easier for me to delete and completely rewrite. My pages bleed purple on both sides when I'm finished. At least it's pretty.)
7. Begin the second part. Repeat steps 4 - 6. And again for the last third.
8. Transfer to the computer.
9. Beg people to read for me.
10. Repeat steps 2 - 8 based on CP feedback.

I can throw up a first draft in 6 weeks, give or take a week. But the clean-up process is much slower. Sometimes up to 4 months, and that's after I've let the vomit cure for a while.

How do you clean up your puke? Do you work on paper? What color is your pen? How long does this usually take you?

88 comments:

salarsenッ said...

I really like your #3 and #. Don't edit until you get through, making sure there's something there. No wasted time, huh??

I rather work on paper. *shrug* Just do. Red works and if I'm feeling festive...green...ish. Pens die so quickly now adays.

salarsenッ said...

'K that was #3 & #5!!

Matthew Rush said...

First time I went through and tried to revise as I read - line by line, paragraph by paragraph and page by page. I guess that's line editing but I'm pretty novice so I'm not sure - plus I did delete certain scenes that didn't fit.

Then I realized there was no way to get a grasp of the big picture with this method - so I created a spreadsheet of each individual scene. It really helped.

I read an interview with Philip Pullman where he said that he does this - except using post it notes on a large poster board - instead of a stupid spreadsheet. Genius.

Stephanie McGee said...

I have no idea on the whole time thing, but with my last WiP, I spent years with a red pen going over what I'd written instead of moving forward.

Sometimes it was a black pen, but that was usually only when writing in the new stuff on the back of the pages.

I imagine it'll take me a good year to get my current WiP into shape. I'll have to get faster if I ever get published, but it's an okay pace for now.

Jen said...

This is my first time in the revision process but I like you am very much a panster so it is a crazy mess by the time at the revision portion and it will be a slow process in fact it's been two weeks since I looked at it and then last night I was able to revise (rewrite) 6100 words and I'm now elated and ready to hit the ground running! I'll keep you posted on how long it takes!

Great tips!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I go through it at least 3 times before I let anyone else see it. Purple.

And I thought of you yesterday after reading Nathan Bransford's post on voice.
~ Wendy

Theresa Milstein said...

Everyone has a different method.

Last year, I heard Cynthia Lord at a conference and she had the most elaborate method I've ever heard of. She prints out the whole thing in miniature (perhaps four pages per sheet) and goes around and highlights in different colors to see how often specific characters come up.

When Lord's editor sends the manuscript back w/ comments she does the sentence fix up stuff first, but any place that's asking for a bigger edit, she puts in a post it note to go back when she's done with the easy stuff.

For me, I just read it through, fix little stuff. Think about it for awhile, go back and make bigger changes. How many times I go through it? I have no idea. When I think it's fit for human consumption, I let someone else look at it and tell me where I've gone wrong.

Palindrome said...

I handwrite my first draft and as I type it up, I change things: spelling errors and whatnot. Then I print up a copy and either read through it myself and change things or give it to the crit group and then change thing. Then it begins again. I use a lot of paper.

Candyland said...

All that, and you're still way ahead of me! It takes me awhile to do all of that, and even then, the finished product is still...meh...

L.J. Boldyrev--YA Writer said...

I'm still learning what works for me. The first novel I finished took me about 30 days to vomit onto the paper, then about 14 months to clean it up. And even still, I'm not sure it's publishable.

I'm on my 4th first draft right now and although I'm still zen with my writing, I'm taking it a little slower. I pause after each scene, think about what I wrote and where I want to go next. I've read over this portion several times and I have hardly found anything to fix yet, so I'm thinking this is the way I need to go.

Great post Elana. I might try your thirds and post-it's.

Michelle said...

Wow! My process is eerily similar to yours. Pink highlighter, black pen, post-its, kill many trees printing out ms. I do the same read-thru as you. :-)

MissV said...

What a vivid title. LOL

I'm still on the input stage, but once I'm done with the first draft, I'll print it out and take colored pens to it. In a perfect world I'd use different colors for different fixes maybe red is characters and green is world, etc.

HOWEVER, I usually find that I start out doing great segregating colors only to get lazy later (or I lose a pen...) and it all ends up in one color. But I do need to print it out because that's the only way most errors will show themselves.

Lisa said...

I edit as I go. I usually write a chapter, then the following day, before picking up and starting fresh, I go back and tweak the previous days work. Then, once the manuscript is done, I send it out to my critique partners who hack it to pieces. Then the process starts all over again :) Good times, lol!

Kelly Bryson said...

I just finished my manuscript last night!!! (small party here) and emailed it to my betas. I vomited it out, sans outline, in four months, just enjoying the ride, and then spent the next 15 months cleaning it up. And I love it, at least until I get my betas' comments back;)

It was my first novel, so a lot of my major changes were just things I hadn't realized about writing a book- tension, advancing the plot in every scene, etc.

I revised chapter by chapter in an online writers workshop, plus working on other areas of the book on my own simultaneously. I did at least 7-8 passes on it, plus one from betas' comments.

magolla said...

Though a pantzer, I'm also very logical in my writing, as in, I'm a linear writer. I know the ending and I know a few turning points in the story, sometimes three, sometimes six, but that's it. Then I let my characters take me from point A to point B, etc. And I've learned to puke it up, but that was after 'editing as I wrote' for four manuscripts. I like puking it up better. I know what's going on, I'm in my character's head, and it's fresh. If I have a problem scene, I sleep on it and usually figure it out in the shower or on a walk.

When I approach the second draft, I know more about the character, the plot, the bad guys, and the world I've created. This is where I fill it out (characterization, dialogue, etc.), delete scenes that do nothing, add action tags, and add some red herrings.

Drafts three and four check for pacing, continuity, flow, characterization (don't want to insert myself into my character, well, not too much!), etc. And for those of you who have a crit group, these are the drafts they should see as this is the final tweaking.

No one except YOU should ever see drafts one or two.

Kristi Helvig said...

I'm a fellow panster and it took me exactly 6 weeks to write my first draft - um, that was 6 months ago and I'm STILL revising! I'm actually impressed that you get into great shape in 4. I'm hoping that it'll be completely finished (for now) within 2 weeks.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Amazing work tactics there. I wish I could spew up and clean up. But the truth is I spend more time on my first draft than any other. I plan quite thoroughly (now). Makesure all the plot points happen at the right points. When I edit I basically pretty up the prose, make sure dialogue is natural, get rid of useless words like 'suddently, 'then', etc and make it read better. But generally the story and plot doesn't change because I had already figured that out in the beginning.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I pretty much edit as I write which makes writing my first draft a long process. After I'm finished, editing involves rearraging scenes, making sure characters are acting according to their motivations and adding descriptive details. For me, the editing is a more enjoyable and quicker process than the first draft.

Falen said...

this freaks me the hell out. If i did this method, i would never get past a first draft.
I can throw up a first draft in about 6 weeks as well, though i have to do a week or two of pre-planning first.

storyqueen said...

I write a lot by hand in the first draft, which takes a long time, but can be done in little snippets, which works for my schedule.

First drafts take a long time.

Revisions are in spurts. I'll take a week to revise for plot-holes.

Maybe another to line edit.

When I revise, I have to submerge into the depths of the ms. to make sure it all works.

Have to have readers after the first revision, otherwise I'm likely to think everything is just fine, and it never is.

Shelley

Kelly said...

I write notes in a notebook to refer to in revisions. I also print it out and write in the margins. Sometimes I just start correcting within the file and save it as edited.
It does take a long while! I'm revising big time now.

Bethanne said...

OMG, I would just DIE! I'm not a plotter, but I like to know what's what and who's who before I start. My sequence and scenes come in the pantser stage of writing, but if I don't have an idea of what the story is...well, then there's no story for me.

You seem brave after this post. My first draft can take anywhere from four weeks to four months... depending on how my life is treating me. Revisions take about four to eight weeks.

I don't use a pen until my final draft is complete. then I'll go through and do a line edit. Printing and reading helps me see things that I didn't when it was on the screen. But I'm done revising by then.... usually. :D

Tina Lynn said...

I like using track changes in my word doc. Then, I save the old version before I accept changes. That way I can still look back at the word vomit and be proud of what it has become much, much later.

Regina said...

I like your style. I usually just get mine completed and then do a read through. Set it aside for awhile and work on something else. Then go back to it, print it. Go over it with either red or purple ink. Highlight if necessary and then re-read with some of the ideas for changes. Then go in and edit it. Set it aside for awhile and then start the process over again. It was very insightful to see how many styles out there.

Linda Kage said...

Red pens work best for me, or a highlighter. I can't really SEE black or blue ink to well when I make little bitty comments here and there.

But your process sounds simliar to mine, sans the post-it notes. I just scribble all over my manuscript. It takes me, like, tem times longer to revise than to write the first draft too.

Carol Kilgore said...

Red pen. F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Sounds like a good process.

I like writing first drafts! Ah, to be free and crazy and go with the flow!

Jonathon Arntson said...

Well, in the style of a teen's first big drunkage, I am still in the process of puking. Your words have AMAZED me though. Six weeks for a rough draft?! I'd better get my but in gear because I have been working on my FD since October of last year. It's been on and off though, mostly off. I feel the stars aligning and I have bookmarked this page to keep my grounded when I start thinking my book is done.

Jonathon Arntson said...

I almost forgot, I only use green for editing. Never red.

Alyssa said...

It's always helpful for me to see how others work. I love post-its. This is great stuff, thanks!

Elana Johnson said...

So, Bethanne, if I told you I've deleted 25,000 words from the end of an MS and simply started over, that might kill you? Yeah, I've done that. And then I rewrote the last 10K AGAIN - more deletage. Sometimes I just can't get it right while vomiting.

And I'm still not sure it's 100%, but whatever. My throat hurts. Ha!

And Alliterative -- I'm beyond jealous that you only have to spruce up your first draft. I'd like to write like that. :)

Jane Harmony said...

Let's see... After the first draft I usually re-read it and make a bullet-pointed list on the computer of notes. Take this out, put this in - that sort of stuff. Then I make an outline of the first draft, edit the outline to agree with the changes I want to make, and rewrite the entire novel. (My first drafts tend to be a hurry-up-and-get-it-on-paper job.) It's the transition from second to third draft that I'm having trouble with now (it's my first time), but I think I may have figured something out that will work for me. I hope. I'll let you know if it does, haha.

Amalia T. said...

I open up a fresh clean document and start writing it again, from scratch, referring back to the first one as little as possible, sometimes not at all. This second draft is the real thing, and from there I play with editing and revising, but not with the first one, because like you said-- it's a mess. But now my thoughts are organized and I can do better.

Mary Campbell said...

I'm still working on my first draft after a year - so I'm obviously not a pantser nor do I upchuck it. My first draft is in pretty good condition actually, but it's not an easy story to write so it's taking me a long time - I'm also learning to write as I do it - so again it's taking me a long time. I think when I finish this one - my next story won't take me as long - at least I hope not. Thanks for the tips on the way you do it.

Shari said...

I upchuck on the page too. It's not pretty, but I do a lot of cutting, pasting and cutting some more and writing and rewriting. And the process continues.

Krista said...

I was going to post about this today on Tuesday Edit Crunch (yes, it's back!), but I'll give you a little taste.
I make notes from the critiques, listing pg#. I print out the ms, punch holes and put it in a binder. Tiny sticky notes, YES, to mark things I already know need to be addressed. Red pen, but maybe I'll change that up. ;) Blank sheets of paper on hand for writing new scenes.
Then I dig in, attacking critique points and fixing what I catch along the way, and re-working awkward spots, all the way through from start to finish. Then, as I'm transferring it all to the computer, I continue to smooth out as I go.
Then I read it again, as a reader. It makes a difference.

And now that I've said all that, I think with this ms I'm about to dig into, it will be a little different. But that's what my post is going to be on. :D

B. Miller said...

Still learning my process as I'm just now coming to the end of my WIP. I like the idea of printing it out in thirds; this'll probably be how I address the rework of the first draft.

Cool post! Thanks for the list!

Mary McDonald said...

I had a beta who would read my chapters on google docs. She'd highlight, strikeout, comment, etc, and I'd re-write, comment, toss out what I planned to do next, all in a different color. Gosh, my chapters were so colorful! lol. They were also a pain to clean up when I transferred them back to Word. I had to make sure that none of our 'conversations' inadvertantly interuppted the story. lol.

So, while cleaning all that up and formatting, I made a ton more edits. I finally have a manuscript that looks presentable and, I think, reads well.

JEM said...

Gross.

I want a hybrid of paper and computer. I need that fancy hologram thing Tom Cruise had in Minority Report. I want to put it up on a big screen and touch it and move things around and type...forget e-readers, someone work on that technology for me!

Lisa_Gibson said...

Hmmm, well I too have the post-it parade. As far as pens, I use either purple or pink. I just can't bring myself to go to red yet.

C. Michael Fontes said...

line edits. oh, and a great critique group! I do it different, though. I puke out a chapter, let my awesome wife read it, adjust if needed, then clean a bit. My critique group will see it, also puke on it, then I clean up further.

Janet Johnson said...

My first draft takes so stinkin' long, my next edit is much faster. But still, that's the hard one. Fix plot problems, add characters who snuck in at the end to the rest of the book. Not fun. But oh so much better after that round.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Ha ha ha! Oh, girl - you are a treasure! I work totally on the computer. Revise, revise, revise...save, save, save... repeat! :-)

Laura Marcella said...

I use lots of different colored pens! I designate the color to what needs revising, such as purple for plot, green for grammar, orange for character, red for conflict, etc.

Valerie said...

I actually do something similar in that I've discovered that in order to keep writing, and turn off my inner editor, I write my first draft out of order. I make sure I get all the scenes I know are going to be in the book down, then move into the scenes I discover from writing the first scenes and so on until I feel like I've got everything I know down.

Then I go and figure out the best order for them, and print out a copy that's in chronological order and read through it, mark it up and begin the long revision process. For some reason I have to, for the most part, revise from beginning to end, I can't break it up too much.

I just got a macbook and Scrivener and I'm hoping that the note cards feature will help me with that.

Kara said...

I digitally clean up my puke. If I resorted to paper, my room would probably look like one of those crazy-assed recycling rooms where post its and shreds of loose leaf are flying EVERYWHERE.

Glynis said...

Blue ink to start, followed by green, yellow and pink highlighters.
Red ink follows that.
Then I transfer to yWriter and work through with that. I then add the final edited page onto word for...one day when it is finished and I submit.

This is the new pretty process, before yWriter I had it both ends...D & V...LOL

paulgreci said...

Painting with a broad brush, I usually I do several revisions on the screen, then do a print revision. Then repeat, sometimes for years if necessary. And yes, sometimes my print revisions are more sticky note than paper--at least that's how it seems.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I have to leave it alone for as long as possible. i don't print it out. I'm used to reading on the computer, I read fast and I find I'm more apt to make notes if I can type than if I've got a pen (I hate writing longhand). Once it's had a few weeks to stew, I do a quick read through to check for flow/pace/characterization/etc...
Then i do a chapter by chapter page/paragraph/sentence/word weigh. I've usually used the same dialogue tag twice in the same scene or reused the same descriptive words ten gazillion times. Now's the time to pick and choose carefully and reeeaally explain what I'm talking about. Clarification. Then I go through looking for my 'list of annoying words'. Then I submit to my critics group. It's a long process too. About two-four months I suppose. Hell, my first ms was finished in january 2009 and I still go back for random edits after a rejection.

Taryn Tyler said...

I edit by chapter more than by manuscript. I'll usually go through the document and italicize everything that feels *wrong*, then come through again the next day and try to make all the italics feel *right* --which sometimes ends in me writing the entire scene over, then go through and edit one more time before printing and forcing some unwitting fool to read it. (though I usually see about half a dozen changes I want to make right after I've clicked print and make those on the document) I read their critique, chew on all the sugestions then set the piece aside and work on something else for awhile before coming back and combing through the chapter, once before re-reading the notes so and once after.

Jennie Englund said...

This was another useful post by EJ.

I throw up the first draft in 2-3 months, then take a year to revise.

I start by rewriting the introduction, which forces me to rewrite the conclusion, and then the whole rest in the middle.

Krispy said...

Not really sure how long everything takes me since I have a really bad habit of editing as I go. Truth is I'm impatient/lazy. I edit as I go in order to minimize having to spend a long time on a 2nd or 3rd run. But this is mostly speaking in terms of academic papers.

Anyway, I like editing on paper. I go faster since I'm not tempted to just correct it and I tend to catch things while reading on paper that I miss on screen. Any non-black pen will do. My high school English teacher made us correct with green pens since red ink has such a bad connotation from its general use as a correction tool. I think it just made me fear green ink too. XP But I do like using green more than red.

Angela said...

Wow. Overall, that's a pretty fast turn around time. Me it can take a year from start to finish.

Some novels, more.

Totally get you on the pukage. Chunky-city on my first drafts.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

For me the writing process is longer than the cleanup. (Probably because I'm organized and methodical on the first draft.) Sometimes I use pen, sometimes pencil, to edit.

Nichole Giles said...

It takes me six months to a year or longer--depending. And I work first on the computer, then about the third or fourth time through on paper. Maybe the fifth. I like purple or pink ink--prettier than bleeding red--and real scissors.

Yes, it's a mess. I admit to being a bit nuts. I am, after all, a writer.

Caledonia Lass said...

I write everything out. Then I go back right away before the puke has had a chance to dry. My rough drafts are pretty decent because I'm getting all my ideas out. When I go back to re-write, I open up a whole new document and tighten everything up. I sooo need a printer. It'd be easier, but at the moment, this is working for me. I will also take the time to write out the rough draft by hand so I can clean it up as I put it into the computer. ;)
Whatever works, right?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I plan the whole story in my head, then carefully outline, and then begin writing - and I usually edit as I write. First round finds me typing it into the computer and printing out pages. Then I attack with a pencil, making a mark in the margin so I can find the edits again. I'll do this repeatedly until, entering the edits into the computer on each round, it's such a mess of pencil I have to print it out again.

Kaylie said...

I focus on one or two things for each draft. This last one, my first revision was for fixing the chronology and also massive rewrites where there were plot holes or chunks of missing information. Next draft might be a research draft. Even though I researched as I went along, I think the MS would benefit if I immersed myself in the MC's life more. Then I'll do a CG suggestion revision. Then...we'll see.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Wow, your method is much more efficient than mine. I have a hard time working on paper. So I tend to do a LOT of reading, scrolling, rereading, scrolling, and keeping notes in a separate journal or sticky notes on the wall (yes...the wall). Sometimes I'll change the color of text that needs work. Or use the highlighter feature. And then, at some point, I create a file called "removed scenes" and then remove the junk from the draft and start rewriting. Hint: my removed scenes doc always ends up just as long, if not longer, than the final draft. Pantsers are AWESOME like that. :)

Michele Emrath said...

How could I not click on a post titled "Cleaning up the puke"? Ha!

I use blue ink. :) And a lot of it.

Michele
Southern City Mysteries

Jackee said...

LOL--I laughed at the post title and expected some family tradegy to be told.

This seems like a great system and a lot like one the Plot Whisperer has suggested on her blog.

Thanks for sharing, Elana, I'm definitely going to use some of these!

Julie Musil said...

PUKE! I love it! Here I thought I'd be reading about baby vomit, but no, you delightfully surprised me! Now I don't feel so bad when my drafts are disgusting. Thanks for the hard-core truth!

Alison Eckel said...

I do my best writing when I write it in a notebook first and then as I type it into the computer I edit and make complete sentences. Although the vomit thing does sound tempting!

Corinne O'Flynn said...

When writing short pieces like my essays, I usually have it started in my head and I just puke. No editing and no thinking beyond the main theme. Then I save it and come back to it tomorrow and tinker until it is complete.

For my MS, I am working on my first. I seem to follow similar steps in that I have the scene worked out in my head and when I do get time to actually sit and write I puke it out. (Sometimes I am distracted by actual puke from dogs or the resident 9 and under crowd)

Then I discover inconsistencies or plot holes and go backward and work them in, still not editing really, just getting it all in place. Once things seem to make sense again, I go on where I left off. Once it is "done", I seem to try line by line - and it is not working.

I need bigger picture though, and am seeking a way through that. I am thinking about Matthew's comment with the large white board... maybe it is time to go that route.
:)

Carolyn V. said...

1st, put everything down in print as asap (usually 12 weeks, I'm impressed with your 6!)

2nd put wip away for a few weeks. Clean house - wash dirty laundry.

3rd reread and correct things that don't make sense.

4th send out to critique groups & beta readers.

5th query. (Oh man, I'm tired just looking at this list!)

Excellent post Elana! I love seeing how you do it! =)

L.T. Elliot said...

I use a red pen but maybe I'll switch to purple because why the heck not? I love purple. It's my favorite color. Maybe I'd handle my own crits better if I used a color I actually like. ;)

RaShelle said...

Elana, you just gave me the queasy shakes and I think I need to go actually do the real thing. =(

I'm with you on getting the first draft out quickly. I punched out a novel for nanowrimo 2009. Almost 80k and I'd already started the thing. The clean up is time consuming and nasty. Love your ideas. Thanks for sharing.

catwoods said...

I edit almost like you, but with every passage for a specific reason.

My pens are purple (love it), red (teacherish, but it makes me pay attention) and green (because it's fun and different and makes me smile.)

Susan R. Mills said...

Cleaning up my latest pukey mess has taken over six months. Trust me; it was bad. Okay, so, we bleed purple around here, but it has nothing to do with editing. It's called the Kansas State Wildcats, baby! I edit with a blue pen. Anything more colorful makes me puke all over again.

Jamie D. said...

I'm starting a complete rewrite. It's exciting and frustrating at the same time...and I'd rather not do it too many more times, if possible. Needless to say, I've turned myself into a plotter, however loosely, and after this is done, no more "puking" up drafts.

I don't mind line-editing at all, but major revisions are for the birds, IMO. So I'm going for good, just needs line/copy editing drafts from here on out, even if that means writing slower. 'Cause that's how I need to roll for my own sanity. ;-)

Jemi Fraser said...

I've never printed out anything. Might or might not be because I'm too cheap or because the printers are always broken.

I open another word file and make a brief outline - 1 sentence per scene

I add notes for plot holes etc

Then I attack and repeat.

Christina Lee said...

wowee that's some process, sister. I don't print anything out (except when going to critique group)--but now you've got me thinking!

Christina Lee said...

wowee that's some process, sister. I don't print anything out (except when going to critique group)--but now you've got me thinking!

Mary Aalgaard said...

I like having a printed page to mark up. Doesn't matter what color, usually not red or black. Sometimes I use pencil.

Jessica Nelson said...

Hahaa! This is such a gross post, but so true.
I puke slower and clean up as it happens. *grin* So,about five to sixth months of pukage, two months afterward to clean up what I missed. ;-)

Renae said...

My pens purple and I'm with you...the clean-up takes a heck of a lot longer than the original writing.

Little Ms J said...

I'm totally a puker. I tend to read my CRAP and then make little notes to myself for a few weeks. Then I start filling in the blanks. It is not unusual for me to start a new chapter, new Word doc and then cut and paste it into my WIP.

Brenda Drake said...

I'm such a tree huger, I avoid printing at all costs. I do puke a bit, but I always clean it up afterward. Crap. Maybe, I need to get a little more messier.

Brenda Drake said...

Whoops. I meant hugger not huger. Just cleaning up the puke.

WindyA said...

I'm amazed at the fact you can pantser yourself a 1st draft in 6 weeks. If I can finish a first draft in twice that, I'm giddy.

As for the cleanup... yeah. It takes a long time. I leave it. Go back. Track changes. Save as a new version then accept all changes. Then leave it for a while. Then go back and read again. Then - REPEAT.

Yeah, throw in there some beta-reader begging and you've got my system.

Rena said...

I have a time consuming habit of editing as I'm writing -- ugh.

Taffy said...

I like to see how other writers do their thing. Thanks, Elana.
And you can beg me to read anytime for you anytime.

Taffy said...

I've started writing a scene per page in a notebook. I write down the scene, characters, conflict, plot point, character point, reactions of each character and all five senses used in the scene.
It helps me see what I've missed.

Angela McCallister said...

I also write it all to the end before doing major revisions. My first draft took a little over three weeks to write. I've done two revisions, but nothing major except the first and last chapter (my problem areas, especially first ch)

I mostly work on the computer for revision, but every week or so, I print a copy and mark it up, using every color of the rainbow (I just use whatever pen I can steal from the nearest coworker).

My problem is I don't know when to quit editing. I think I'd just keep changing it until they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Lily Cate said...

Lately I've developed this habit -as well as being a dedicated panster - of writing scenes totally out of order. So before I can even get to an honest to goodness revision, there are about 20 sessions of organizing and arranging (and of course rewriting) to get everything in order before I can get to a true revision.

Then I just take it one chapter at a time. But I never print. That's my husband's method. I prefer cut and paste!

Lisa said...

Ugh. Your method sounds incredibly depressing to me. Kudos to you for wading back through it, but I think I'll stick with my completely anal outlining. :)

G said...

I started doing a modified version of what you do.

With my last manuscript, I would print out the various pages I'd get written and make copious notes during my down time at work, and on the weekends and during down time in general. By the time I got finished with all 143 pages, I had about 95% of the manuscript covered with all kinds of notes, cross-outs, etc.

Just finished the first round of editing and now I'm waiting for the first round of feedback on it.

kanishk said...

I might try your thirds and post
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