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The most you had to edit (2 Viewers)

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KeganThompson

Senior Member
I decided to go ahead and work on the major plot changes and do a first revision of the beginning of my draft. (my first draft isn't completed but about 60%-ish done) I was having a hard time keeping focus. There is a lot of work to be done. My process tends to be a chaotic mess, but that seems to be what is working for me. This tends to be more of a pantser problem but what are some of the biggest changes you have had to make to your first draft?
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Honestly, I couldn't keep track. I edit as I go, go back and edit again, move onto the next sentence and go back to edit again ... all in one session. Then I'll go back and edit everything again before I continue the story. When I've got a sizeable chunk, I'll edit it all again over and over and over ...
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
Honestly, I couldn't keep track. I edit as I go, go back and edit again, move onto the next sentence and go back to edit again ... all in one session. Then I'll go back and edit everything again before I continue the story. When I've got a sizeable chunk, I'll edit it all again over and over and over ...
I watched a video on youtube" what type of writer are you?" when I first started I was under the impression pantsing wasn't good for a beginner but then I found out about pantsing and realized that's what I am. Then I was also told don't edit until the end of your draft it will be a waste of time...might as well do it all at once but then I heard a term called "methodological pantser" and she said these people tend to write, plot, then write and even edit all at the same time. Its a chaotic method but solid books came from this style and it made me feel better. So I finally decided to start doing my first overhaul on editing. I have a long way to go but looking back on my first draft of chapter 1 from 5 months ago I have become a better writer and understand structure more. so that is reassuring :)
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I watched a video on youtube" what type of writer are you?" when I first started I was under the impression pantsing wasn't good for a beginner but then I found out about pantsing and realized that's what I am. Then I was also told don't edit until the end of your draft it will be a waste of time...might as well do it all at once but then I heard a term called "methodological pantser" and she said these people tend to write, plot, then write and even edit all at the same time. Its a chaotic method but solid books came from this style and it made me feel better. So I finally decided to start doing my first overhaul on editing. I have a long way to go but looking back on my first draft of chapter 1 from 5 months ago I have become a better writer and understand structure more. so that is reassuring :)
Koontz also edits as he goes, so we're in good company. It's a much slower process up front but a faster process later because you've done most of the editing. When I first started the process, the writer would go first and then the editor would step in. But as I progress and get better, I find both are starting to work together.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
Koontz also edits as he goes, so we're in good company. It's a much slower process up front but a faster process later because you've done most of the editing. When I first started the process, the writer would go first and then the editor would step in. But as I progress and get better, I find both are starting to work together.
Yep I thought I had a pretty solid concept of what I wanted to do. Nope guess not so as I'm writing my idea is just sharpening and becoming more defined on what I want it to be. I must say the concept for a new writer is a bigger one to tackle cuz all of the little pieces I'm tryna incorporate. But uh, too late to toss it out now 🤷🏼‍♀️
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Yep I thought I had a pretty solid concept of what I wanted to do. Nope guess not so as I'm writing my idea is just sharpening and becoming more defined on what I want it to be. I must say the concept for a new writer is a bigger one to tackle cuz all of the little pieces I'm tryna incorporate. But uh, too late to toss it out now 🤷🏼‍♀️
It's a much harder path to tread I feel. It's one thing writing the whole story and then going back, but constantly reminding yourself AS YOU WRITE, you're not up to snuff, can be hard to swallow. You either grow a thicker skin and realise you will get better, or cry into your pillow and give up. If you love words, love sentences, love paragraphs and love crafting, it's not so much of a problem.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
I gotta tell myself when I get upset to get over it and move on or you won't get this done. Ever. Writing ain't no joke 😂
I already put so much work into it,what's wrong doubling or tripping the work I already put in. If I want it to be anything decent that's what I gotta do. Luckily I'm not on a dead line. I give myself small goals so that helps with the pressure. The goal is far but it's attainable even if it's not easy
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I gotta tell myself when I get upset to get over it and move on or you won't get this done. Ever. Writing ain't no joke 😂
I already put so much work into it,what's wrong doubling or tripping the work I already put in. If I want it to be anything decent that's what I gotta do. Luckily I'm not on a dead line. I give myself small goals so that helps with the pressure. The goal is far but it's attainable even if it's not easy
It sounds like you've got the right attitude. My sig says it all for me. It's work and damned hard work.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
It sounds like you've got the right attitude. My sig says it all for me. It's work and damned hard work.
If u wanna be good at something you gotta put in the work. When people get into writing I think a lot give up cuz they didn't realize how hard it really is to tell a story and tell one well. I know I didn't. When I started getting back into writing I knew it was gonna be hard but until recently I never grasped how hard
 
Have often been times when I've reiterated over the same passages so many times that on subsequent re-reads I end up anticipating the line prior to an applied edit. I've tried to adopt the traditional first draft -> second draft -> etc process but with little success. It can be disheartening to repeatedly comb over passages with the vague idea that something is wrong with them, since you become so bored with and desensitized by your own writing you doubt that it could ever inspire anyone else. I wouldn't recommend this style of drafting to someone if they had a choice, but everybody is different I guess. The way I often resort to doing it the amount of completed work on the piece dwindles until I have just a few paragraphs "completed". I'm not sure what is the most I've cut out in editing, but it has been sometimes entire stories sans the premise.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
Have often been times when I've reiterated over the same passages so many times that on subsequent re-reads I end up anticipating the line prior to an applied edit. I've tried to adopt the traditional first draft -> second draft -> etc process but with little success. It can be disheartening to repeatedly comb over passages with the vague idea that something is wrong with them, since you become so bored with and desensitized by your own writing you doubt that it could ever inspire anyone else. I wouldn't recommend this style of drafting to someone if they had a choice, but everybody is different I guess. The way I often resort to doing it the amount of completed work on the piece dwindles until I have just a few paragraphs "completed". I'm not sure what is the most I've cut out in editing, but it has been sometimes entire stories sans the premise.
the chaotic process I'm using isn't the "funniest" or most "efficient" but the way my plans for the story has involved calls for it because I don't think I could complete it or continuously draft. Drafting has been awful for me when I decided to do the major plot change. editing has been a nice change of pace and I need to clean up a lot of what I wrote. Once I get a good chunk of this done I think I can feel more comfortable with continuing the drafting process.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
This tends to be more of a pantser problem but what are some of the biggest changes you have had to make to your first draft?
After thinking about this, I have to say, I don't think that the amount of editing required is related to being a pantser. For me, I lean on the pantsing side. I have a basic skeleton for a plot and then I pants everything else. And I will tell you, doing it this way is hard! And it's slow. But I don't throw something down and then edit it. I think for a very long time what I want to say. Then before I write anything, I check to make sure it is in alignment with what I have already written and where I need to go. I don't think it's chaotic at all. In some ways, I have more control this way because I can make things fit naturally and not worry too much about things that have already been decided. It's incredibly creative, I'll tell you that. And when a brilliant idea springs out of a piece of dialogue or internal thoughts, it's downright intoxicating.

When I read back earlier chapters or sections, I'm really happy with them. I don't see an urge to edit much at all. Other than when something wasn't working with the realism factor. Like you, I couldn't go forward until I fixed it. (It wasn't too bad, I just searched the name of her company and other related words and then slid the assertions in.) The downside is I am not getting finished very quickly. And other writers have said, don't worry just write crap...just get 'er done. But I can't seem to do that. I'm hoping I will be rewarded when it comes time to edit the final draft. We all have our own process. Sounds like you are on the right track with yours. And I agree that small goals are better, take your time, as long as you don't have a publisher’s deadline looming, why rush it? :)
 
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KeganThompson

Senior Member
After thinking about this, I have to say, I don't think that the amount of editing required is related to being a pantser. For me, I lean on the pantsing side. I have a basic skeleton for a plot and then I pants everything else. And I will tell you, doing it this way is hard! And it's slow. But I don't throw something down and then edit it. I think for a very long time what I want to say. Then before I write anything, I check to make sure it is in alignment with what I have already written and where I need to go. I don't think it's chaotic at all. In some ways I have more control this way because I can make things fit naturally and not worry too much about things that have already been decided. It's incredibly creative, I'll tell you that. And when a brilliant idea springs out of a piece of dialogue or internal thoughts, it's downright intoxicating.

When I read back earlier chapters or sections, I'm really happy with them. I don't see an urge to edit much at all. Other than when something wasn't working with the realism factor. Like you, I couldn't go forward until I fixed it. The downside is I am not getting finished very quickly. And other writers have said, don't worry just write crap...just get 'er done. But I can't seem to do that. I'm hoping I will be rewarded when it comes time to edit the final draft. We all have our own process. Sounds like you are on the right track with yours. And I agree that small goals are better, take your time, as long as you don't have a publisher’s deadline looming, why rush it? :)
When I say chaotic I mean for me it's more of a messier process than a clean cut section by section outline. My style and my shuffle seems to be all over the place. But there is a structure and an order to how I want to do things. It comes across as more chaotic than a clear outline/ vision.
I am the same way. I had a skeleton of a plot with basic ideas but I did drastically decide to change a plot and how idea was implemented. The core of the story is still there, I am still finding ways of how I want to better express them and pinpoint those ideas down to have a clearer picture. Its hard being a pantser but plotting every little thing I couldn't do. I'd get too bored. I got to the point where a lot of what I was writing felt like I was writing to get the draft done with no clear vision of how the pieces work together from the beginning cuz I my idea changed from what I originally wrote down. So I decided screw it imma start my major revision and see how it goes. It feels like the right choice. I was thinking of posting my first big revision to get some more feedback on my craft and how interesting of a chapter it is. I was blown away by the response my snippet got tbh. I'd like to give more writing advice but so many ppl on this platform have better advice than I would ever have (atm) 😂
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Its hard being a pantser but plotting every little thing I couldn't do. I'd get too bored. I got to the point where a lot of what I was writing felt like I was writing to get the draft done with no clear vision of how the pieces work together from the beginning cuz I my idea changed from what I originally wrote down. So I decided screw it imma start my major revision and see how it goes. It feels like the right choice. I was thinking of posting my first big revision to get some more feedback on my craft and how interesting of a chapter it is. I was blown away by the response my snippet got tbh. I'd like to give more writing advice but so many ppl on this platform have better advice than I would ever have (atm) 😂

To me, it sounds like the right choice. I actually think you have provided some very deep insight to the writer's plight on this thread. Start giving more advice, why not? You are really astute with understanding your own process and what works for you. I'm certain you can provide excellent advice to someone else trying to figure these things out. Or try some critiques in the Fiction Workshop or Showcase. You'd be good at that. No one's advice is better than anyone else's. We are all in this together!
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Yeah, I have a basic structure in mind but without detail. In the first chapter of The Sixth Chamber, all I have is: Guy walks across desert with a saddle on his shoulder, finally arrives at a town, buys a horse, takes it out into the wilderness, shoots it through the head and waits. In the morning, the protagonist has his horse.
 

Riptide

WF Veterans
On Prototech, I added a whole new character in the beginning who I had to mention throughout. I changed settings and locations. Added an entire chapter and might add more. Have to flesh out motivation and fear more so than what's on the page. Give the characters tics.

I've tried to edit as a good, SPaG wise, but for bigger picture edits those take more time for me to work through. And usually I don't realize a problem until the story is written. On my next wip I'm trying to correct the issues I ran into on Prototech before I begin.
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
So much revision. I'm on draft 3, and between draft 1 and 2, I rewrote the entire first act to change when the reader/character enters the story and added several scenes throughout the draft. I also changed big character details that had an impact on other characters and the writing throughout the draft, so I had to comb through my details carefully to make the adjustments. Between draft 2 and this draft, I'm mostly just developing my characters, improving the writing, and cutting certain scenes down to essentials.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
So much revision. I'm on draft 3, and between draft 1 and 2, I rewrote the entire first act to change when the reader/character enters the story and added several scenes throughout the draft. I also changed big character details that had an impact on other characters and the writing throughout the draft, so I had to comb through my details carefully to make the adjustments. Between draft 2 and this draft, I'm mostly just developing my characters, improving the writing, and cutting certain scenes down to essentials.
I am definitely on over writer and I need to cut out a bunch of info dumping I did in the first few chapters of the draft. I was going to combine some chapters and get rid of the fluff that isn't relevant enough to keep.
Is this your first book or have you completed a novel before?
 
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