That’s a big question.
I’m a writer, if it hasn’t yet been made clear. I spend most of my days doing just that…writing. For those of you that are beginning your writing journey or don’t even write but are curious as to what I actually do for that long, let me tell you.
Most of what I do is some form of rewriting.
By that I mean my biggest project right now is reworking my latest finished novel. Wait, wait, so you mean that once you finish writing a book you aren’t…actually…done? Sorry folks, no you are not.
And it’s not just about grammar and spelling either. That’s editing. Not revising.
My project went out to beta readers and I had to pull it back. Why? I had a suggestion that changed the entire damn book, excuse my language. I was writing in a POV that just didn’t suit the story. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How could I mess something like that up?
Well, I was writing in third person limited/deep ish when it really needed to be omniscient. And they’re really close. I won’t go into the differences today though. Bottom line…too much head hopping.
All you need to know is that I knew I needed to change it.
So, I sat down with a very clean manuscript. I’ve gone over the grammar, the spelling, the dialogue about a million times so it reads well. In that regard at least.
My rewriting process has a lot of additions to it. I’m adding in thoughts, moments inside specific characters heads. I’m adding small details. I’m adding big scenic changes and details that immerse the reader. I’m adding whole sections on created cultures and species. I’m adding minor characters to foil others. To add spice. To set up further conflict.
And it has a lot of deletions. I’ve removed whole characters from scenes. I’ve cut out some of their dialogue, any moments of head hopping (and added in body language instead). I’ve removed entire chapters. I’ve removed small details that disturb the flow.
Finally, rewriting a book means molding it. I’m taking paragraphs into my hands and determining if they feel right. It’s so vague and sometimes I’ll rewrite a chapter, page, paragraph, or sentence so many times I think I’m crazy. But I find the right combination of words that makes the reader feel those words.
I want each word to matter and when I say I’m revising a story, it means that I’m looking at each word and determining its value.
I use a Royal, but the second project I’m working on is a hodgepodge of various novels, short stories, and collections. For this, I’m doing what you would think. I’m writing. Plain and simple. I sit in front of a journal or my precious typewriter and I fall into another world.
Currently, I’m focused on dark fiction and letting go of trying to write everything perfectly first shot. I’m just writing.
That’s what this is about. Writing and working on my next book, whatever form that ends up taking, means enjoying the process. I might start with ten or twenty ideas and then one of them will suddenly grab me. Somehow, I’m hooked and I’ve fallen into that universe just as if I’m a reader browsing books and I find the one.
And then, there’s my favorite thing I’m working on: nothing.
By that I mean, I write a lot of stuff just to write. I enjoy writing. I love it so much and it’s important that I remember that I love it. So keep that in mind, I spend dedicated time daily to just write whatever I want and to have fun. No pressure, no rules, just enjoyment.
I think it’s extremely important for writers to write for fun. It’s so important that we get back to the reason why we devote so much time and energy to something. We love it!
If there’s anything to take away from this article,