Friday, April 17, 2009

Waiting is the hardest part

Well, actually there are harder parts, but I don't like it anyway. I'm still badly wanting to start flipping through the print copy and making changes. I want to finish it!

But I resist, one, because for practical reasons it will mess things up to be making changes before hearing back from my readers. Two, I've come to believe that it's necessary to approach the thing fresh after a break every once in awhile. With a break, the rewrites, revisions, or edits or whatever are more on point--energy gets channeled into reading it critically instead of into convincing yourself that it's awesome. That critical distance is easy enough to accomplish when you're discouraged and procrastinating for a couple weeks, but sometimes you have to force yourself away, and now is a good time to do that.

I made some notes on that story that I poked around on during my last break over Christmas. I really like the story idea, but my heart's not in it. Can't stop dwelling on the novel.

Read about half of the Susan Choi book last night. Definitely liking this better than the third book, but . . . another time when I've finished it I'll write more on this question of digression. Theres a certain characteristic in story-telling--I wrote about it yesterday--that bothers me and that I could overlook in one book but less so in the other two.

1 comment:

Anette J Kres said...

Taking a break between your rough draft and editing is a great idea. Read, write something else, wait for some feedback on your ms, remember real life, and THEN dive back in. It gives you some perspective and makes your edits that much better.

At least, it has in my experience. I finished the rough of AUC a couple days into November, so I dove right into NaNo. When I resurfaced around Jan/Feb of this year I started editing AUC and found that I liked and hated my novel that much more for the distance. It was easier to separate the things I liked from the things that needed chucked out the window.

So that's my take. Good luck!