I’m pretty sure everyone knows this. But I woke up this morning and it hit me. Getting the story idea, developing the characters and writing the book, is the fun part of the process. For me? I have to get things down at breakneck speed or else I won’t get those initial words down at all.
And you’d think, that your first draft is a big portion of the work. But no – it’s really not. Although, my last first draft was much better than the previous ones – they all need work.
Taking out your bad words. For me? They’re that, just, seem, feel, and I even have a phrase. My phrase is: was/is fully aware. For know. Yeah, I know, right?
Then there’s axing all those superfluous and repetitive sentences. The ones you wrote to solidify the story in your mind as you hammered out a page. I do these a lot.
Data dumps. I’m not sure about anyone else, but when I’m in first draft mode, even if I’ve got detailed everything outlines (which I usually do), I data dump. For myself, for my characters, for Scrivener, just incase it doesn’t get it either.
And then I have to go back and clean it up. In my second draft, I have a horrible habit of nixing the data dump to such an extreme, that I no longer give enough. (Yes, I’m working on this.) In my third draft, I then spatter the information back through the story so that, at the end, my poor reader actually knows everything that’s been going on (I hope).
In case it’s not obvious, books with pages of data dumps are my pet peeve.
Now, while I write, I do world build and provide sensory details. But that’s rarely enough for a book. All I do in that draft is give myself the foundations and spend the next drafts honing them and hoping to show everyone the world I have in my head.
Right now? In this final phase. I’m tightening. Finding those lines I go back and forth on whether or not they’re necessary. I’m lucky I have a fantastic editor who I can ping at any time and she’ll firmly tell me that no – that paragraph/line IS actually necessary for the purpose of the story – or no, cut it.
Sometimes I get so bogged down in what I’m doing that I can’t see what is and isn’t a good decision anymore. And then of course – there’s panic mode.
After this final draft, I nitpick. Yep – it’s not a full read through, just several areas that catch my attention in a bad way – and get nitpicked and not to death, but to shiny, pretty lines!
I’m currently entirely happy with my first 2 chapters, and chugging along on the rest of them. I think I’ll make my deadline of the 14th… but we’ll see.
For me – writing is a TINY part of the huge process. The rest is refining it, trying to perfect it. How about you?
So, how does revision work for you? Do you have pet peeve words? Do you have pet peeves you try to avoid in your writing? How do you tackle and tighten the prose?
Thank you to everyone in #writemotivation for pushing me along. You all rock.