Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

editing/ revising while drafting / dirty drafting (2 Viewers)

Status
Not open for further replies.

KeganThompson

Senior Member
Okay, this seems to be a big "no no" to edit while drafting. I understand why it's best to wait until your drafting process is complete before doing major edits on your story. You don't want to get sick of your story and you will have a clearer picture of your novel, short, story ect. so you can do a better edit. BUT...but some people do edit while drafting. I am a new writer so I can see why that may not be a good idea. I get lost in all the things I need to revise and I feel like reading back on my story and doing some of the changes can help push me along in the drafting process, because sometimes I feel like I am just writing stuff to get through the draft. but writing AND editing do seem overwhelming. Sometimes I want to work on my story but not start a new chapter. The past few chapters have been REALLY REALLY hard to start. You think I should do a bit of "dirty drafting" to help get me through the rest of the process? Write (a) scene(s) you know will happen and figure out the rest later? I need some advice to figure out the best route to help me finish my draft. I plan to start chapter 21 this evening
Thank you.
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
I edit while I go. I refuse to reread first drafts, even my own. Especially if they're my own ;)

It does tend to elongate the process though...
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
Its hard to reread your draft without editing at all that's for sure. I tend to do a quick pass with a chapter and move on but I haven't been doing that the last few. I think I need to because I don't remember much of what I wrote the last 4 chapters. Its been a blur😂 honestly this project is going to take longer than I intended anyway...
I think my idea with all the themes I want to add might be out of my league to properly excute but I'm going to try anyway.
 

Tettsuo

WF Veterans
I only review a chapter after I've written it, and that's just a single pass. That pass is done solely to make sure the story is going into the right direction. The goal for me is the finish the story. Style and grammar and spelling and the like are focused on only when the entire story is completed.

For me, I have to keep the momentum and not get side tracked on the minutia.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Different people have different approaches. When I wrote novels, I'd do a little line edit as I went but nothing substantial and nothing to stop me losing myself to the story. I was improving but incredibly slowly and I found it painful and daunting. SO, I decided to break writing down into its constituent parts. I worked on dialogue for quite some time, descriptions for quite some time, sentences, words, pacing etc. I moved to short stories for that very reason. I wasn't going to write another 200 pages only to find all of those 200 pages needed completely rewriting. Looking at the whole is daunting. Looking at one aspect at a time, isn't daunting.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
I only review a chapter after I've written it, and that's just a single pass. That pass is done solely to make sure the story is going into the right direction. The goal for me is the finish the story. Style and grammar and spelling and the like are focused on only when the entire story is completed.

For me, I have to keep the momentum and not get side tracked on the minutia.
Yeah I get sidetracked on minor things I know I can fix later. When I first started drafting I was wanting everything to be close to perfect as I could get it but there is no point. I have been doing better with adding side notes to things for future revision. I am missing key plot points in my current chapters because I didn't think I thought far enough a head/ key point has changed so I am kind of leaving it out for when it gets fixed in the beginning
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
Different people have different approaches. When I wrote novels, I'd do a little line edit as I went but nothing substantial and nothing to stop me losing myself to the story. I was improving but incredibly slowly and I found it painful and daunting. SO, I decided to break writing down into its constituent parts. I worked on dialogue for quite some time, descriptions for quite some time, sentences, words, pacing etc. I moved to short stories for that very reason. I wasn't going to write another 200 pages only to find all of those 200 pages needed completely rewriting. Looking at the whole is daunting. Looking at one aspect at a time, isn't daunting.
What I'm gonna do is go through my more recent chapters...and notes for plot points I want to re-mention and maybe do minor editing. I just feel like a lot of beginning stiff has fallen off and it's not going fully in the direction it needs to. Or it's missing themes/ points I need. There is just so many different ways to edit my idea I get lost in what I should do for revising in the future as well. The idea of completely rewriting a good chunk of my books sounds daunting and I don't want to COMPLETE LY change and rewrite everything
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
What I'm gonna do is go through my more recent chapters...and notes for plot points I want to re-mention and maybe do minor editing. I just feel like a lot of beginning stiff has fallen off and it's not going fully in the direction it needs to. Or it's missing themes/ points I need. There is just so many different ways to edit my idea I get lost in what I should do for revising in the future as well. The idea of completely rewriting a good chunk of my books sounds daunting and I don't want to COMPLETE LY change and rewrite everything
The number of things you have to take into consideration when writing is incredible. I'm pretty sure some people get fed up with me for labouring a point, but not everyone has seen or even understands what I'm getting at. Here's the rub: YES, writing novels is really the only way of learning to write novels. BUT, learning to write is a different proposition. If you simply come on sites like this to put your work up to have it 'edited' for you, and don't understand the complexity of writing, all you'll do is take the edited version without fully understanding why it was edited. To understand why something is wrong, it's best to focus entirely on that ONE thing for a while. The more you do that, and the more things you add to the list, the more you begin to do it without thinking. It's muscle memory. When you've learned how to write well, you can write more freely, and that thing you found daunting before, stands out like a sore thumb.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
The number of things you have to take into consideration when writing is incredible. I'm pretty sure some people get fed up with me for labouring a point, but not everyone has seen or even understands what I'm getting at. Here's the rub: YES, writing novels is really the only way of learning to write novels. BUT, learning to write is a different proposition. If you simply come on sites like this to put your work up to have it 'edited' for you, and don't understand the complexity of writing, all you'll do is take the edited version without fully understanding why it was edited. To understand why something is wrong, it's best to focus entirely on that ONE thing for a while. The more you do that, and the more things you add to the list, the more you begin to do it without thinking. It's muscle memory. When you've learned how to write well, you can write more freely, and that thing you found daunting before, stands out like a sore thumb.
Writing is hard. Legit. When I was in Jr high I was foolish enough to think I could plant my scene onto paper and TADA. Even in highschool I didn't get it. It wasn't until I started writing a couple months ago I started to really see all the aspects of writing and how hard it truely is. I got so much to learn down to basic grammar. But I want to get better and I want to know what I'm wrong not just what I'm doing well. The idea and themes I am trying to weave into my novel are important to me and of course I want it to be good. The only way it can ever be good is if I get feedback and I understand what needs to be worked on and why. I gotta learn to deal with the downs of writing if I wanna get anywhere
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Writing is hard. Legit. When I was in Jr high I was foolish enough to think I could plant my scene onto paper and TADA. Even in highschool I didn't get it. It wasn't until I started writing a couple months ago I started to really see all the aspects of writing and how hard it truely is. I got so much to learn down to basic grammar. But I want to get better and I want to know what I'm wrong not just what I'm doing well. The idea and themes I am trying to weave into my novel are important to me and of course I want it to be good. The only way it can ever be good is if I get feedback and I understand what needs to be worked on and why. I gotta learn to deal with the downs of writing if I wanna get anywhere
And it's a great approach! For me, it's the only approach. Others take it for granted because they've been well educated, speak well and mix with equally educated and eloquent people. It's who they are. For an uneducated, terraced house kid like myself, EVERYTHING had to be learned. I could take NOTHING for granted. But I had a fantastic imagination and stories tap dancing in my head. All I wanted to do it learn to translate those onto the page, one tap at a time.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Well, I'm writing my first novel. I'm 75% complete now. I remember being at the stage you are now and feeling that exact feeling that I wanted to write but wasn't ready to start a new chapter. At first, rather than go back and edit, I did one of two things. Either go back and just read earlier chapters or work on the plot for future chapters. Eventually, I learned how to force myself just to keep on writing, and start that next chapter, even when I didn't feel like it. The only time I go back to edit is if I need to add something due to a new scene for continuity. Like one time, I realized there was an issue with her work, that didn't make sense. I stopped writing, did a bit more research, and figured it out. It, then entailed me going back to insert a few lines to accommodate the revision in that storyline.

And sometimes when I'm reading the previous chapters, I notice something very small, like an awkward or missing word, and I'll fix that right away. But basically, what has worked for me is upward and onward.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
I have been pretty good with forcing myself to write. But I think I have a hard time cuz I feel like I don't know what i'm writing anymore my story/ "vision" gets lost and I lose confidence in what I'm every writing. I have been slowing down on how often and long I wrote for because I don't wanna make myself hate what I'm doing. But I don't wanna stop writing for too long and break the writing habit I made.

Do you care to share a brief summary of what you are writing?
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
And it's a great approach! For me, it's the only approach. Others take it for granted because they've been well educated, speak well and mix with equally educated and eloquent people. It's who they are. For an uneducated, terraced house kid like myself, EVERYTHING had to be learned. I could take NOTHING for granted. But I had a fantastic imagination and stories tap dancing in my head. All I wanted to do it learn to translate those onto the page, one tap at a time.
I think something people take for granted and not just with writing of course is talent. Even if you have talent not everything your gonna do is gonna be amazing. People with talent need to work hard too if they want to see their full potential
My 2cents
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I am writing in the Corporate Thriller genre. There are not a lot of books in this genre, but one of the best as an example is Wolf of Wallstreet. My POV is third-person limited. The protagonist a female financial analyst who gets caught up in a financial crime inadvertently. The setting is none other than the financial district of New York City. I am basing the plot on a real-life financial crime. My background is in finance, so it's been a lot of fun!

What is your genre?
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
That helps you have a base and you are in finance.
YA mystery romance. I don't know if horror fits it.
One main theme is basing ideas and playing off of Genesis. (The first 2 to 3 chapters)
Main character has a Catholic background but I'm catholic lol. Interesting multi plots and themes has been a journey no doubt.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
That helps you have a base and you are in finance.
YA mystery romance. I don't know if horror fits it.
One main theme is basing ideas and playing off of Genesis. (The first 2 to 3 chapters)
Main character has a Catholic background but I'm catholic lol. Interesting multi plots and themes has been a journey no doubt.
That sounds interesting! There is a lot to work with using Genesis. Sometimes when I get stuck on my novel, I also just start reading something from an author I am influenced by. Do you have anyone like that that you get inspired by?
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
That sounds interesting! There is a lot to work with using Genesis. Sometimes when I get stuck on my novel, I also just start reading something from an author I am influenced by. Do you have anyone like that that you get inspired by?
Well I go to church and have prodastant friends so that helps. I also like Jordan Peterson. He has lectures on the bible I find interesting. I watched some of them. They are long and it's a lot to take in haha.
I have some core themes/ ideas but weaving them together and properly is the hard part. And that's goes with any story really. Have multiple plot points coming together and integrating them to where they don't feel out of place with the others.
Have you gotten any feed back on your story yet?
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
I tend to write a reasonable chunk of draft before going back to edit, though I will stop briefly to make a note if something leaps out in case I forget it. Sometimes I might cut part of the text and if I edit as I go, I'm probably editing something I'll end up cutting.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
I plan to cut a lot of things from my draft. My pacing is off and I did too much info dumping in the beginning of the story.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Well I go to church and have prodastant friends so that helps. I also like Jordan Peterson. He has lectures on the bible I find interesting. I watched some of them. They are long and it's a lot to take in haha.
I have some core themes/ ideas but weaving them together and properly is the hard part. And that's goes with any story really. Have multiple plot points coming together and integrating them to where they don't feel out of place with the others.
Have you gotten any feed back on your story yet?

Just listened to some Jordan Peterson on Youtube. Have you seen his "The worst thing a creative person can do." It's great! He's a good inspiration to have.

Yes, weaving the plot points is crucial, but the fact that you are finding it hard is a good sign. It means you see the importance of doing it well. It was the thing I struggled with the most, so I had to develop a process to work through it. And it only gets harder. Especially near the end, when you have to pull everything to closure. If you take time to come up with a process that works for you, I think you will find it easier later on in your story.

I have a beta reader, who is a published author who gives me feedback. She's also an ex-English teacher so I'm very fortunate to have her. But I think one has to be careful about the feedback they get while they are writing. After you have finished a piece, it is different because you can choose to respond to feedback or not. When you are writing, you want to careful not to let someone else's style or vision influence you.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top