On Recognizing the Interim Rewards of Writing

My chapter revision tracking system, with special emphasis given to chapters 7, 15, 21, and 30 (formerly 31)

My chapter revision tracking system for draft 2, with special emphasis given to chapters 7, 15, 21, and 30 (formerly 31)

The ultimate reward of writing, obviously, is publishing a book and having it read to widespread appeal.

But long before reaching that point, should a writer reward the intermediate stages of his/her writing journey?

In the past, I’ve written not only about both the importance of goal-setting, but also of ensuring your goals have corresponding plans to power their fulfillment.

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Revising is Hard, But Not in the Way I Expected

Keep calm and revise onI’ve now been actively revising my WIP for about three-and-a-half months.

I have to admit, I haven’t progressed nearly as far as I’d anticipated, to date having reworked only seven chapters out of a total 31.  And that’s not counting the fact I have to go over chapters 1-3 all over again.

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Thoughts on Revising My Novel’s First Chapter

One chapter down, 30 more to go (in this draft)

One chapter down, 30 more to go (in this draft)

For a while, I honestly thought this day would never come: the day I finally got to start revising my WIP.

I never set out to write a trilogy.  That’s a whole lot of writing for anyone, but for me, being such a slow writer to boot, it at times felt near-insurmountable.

I’m convinced the only thing that got me to THE END of the first draft was the iron-like strength of my discipline.  I may have many shortcomings as a writer, but showed up at the page is not one of them.

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Getting Ready for Revision (for the Very First Time)

First draft manuscript

If I were to equate the current stage of my writer’s journey with that of the classic Hero’s Journey, I’d now find myself at stage sometimes referred to as “The Belly of the Whale”.

Which, in my opinion, is perhaps the most perilous of all the stages – even more so than the main confrontation of the story’s climax – for at this stage, the hero still doesn’t have a complete sense of what s/he is up against; a true, Rumsfeldian “unknown unknown”.

That is to say, I’m getting ready to revise my first completed novel.

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No One Would Make a Coconut Fluoride Rinse: A writer’s frustration with finding the right words

A Distractions & Subtractions post

So, I have this sort of condition….

It’s nothing overly serious – nothing requiring medical treatment or that’s even been officially diagnosed.  More than anything, it makes for something of an odd party trick in response to yet another game folks may play at a party.

The blindfolded, guess-what-food-I’ve-just-put-in-your-mouth game.

Yes, this does, indeed, relate to writing.  Everything does with me, dontcha know?

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Building a History – finale: Pages From Your Personal History

All fiction writing is historical fiction, even when it’s not….

Over the course of trying to learn how to be an effective writer, I’ve read numerous books, articles, and blog posts on all things to do with writing.

I continue to read blogs on writing to this day.  The majority of my study of nuts-and-bolts writing craft, however, occurred between the pages of this or the other book, and between 2001 and 2004, when I was first starting to take myself and my desire to produce publishable material seriously.

The years that followed afforded me numerous opportunities to really think about, internalize, and practice the various techniques I’d read about in the past.

They also caused me to often forget which books yielded which specific writing tips and ideas about the writing life.

One notion in particular for which I clearly remember the content yet not the source is the idea that whatever novel you’re currently working on is, in truth, the novel of your past.

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My Writing Journey – finale

Continued from Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4:

England’s Parliament building and Big Ben shot from the London Eye, in the rain (Photo: J. Noelle).

I told myself it would be best to take a short break from writing – just until I’d had a chance to settle into my new job and home, and establish myself socially.

That “break” lasted six years.

They say that love is blind.  I’d like to submit my own saying: love can make you stop writing.  Especially when it is unrequited love.  For my time away from writing my novel did indeed involve unrequited love, as well as obsession of an entirely different sort, rivalry, a joking/not joking threat of getting shoved off a boardwalk, and is practically a novel in its own right.

I’m not going to discuss it in any detail, for though it was a significant experience in my life that would go on to shape many things to come and perhaps even still does, it’s not a part of my “story” that I wish to continue living and carrying around with me.

I will concede that it was a time that allowed me to develop other interests, skills, and facets of my personality.  Yet my pursuit of all that stuff (not to mention “the guy”) was no less balanced than when I was deep in the throes of Obsessive Writer’s Disorder – writing nonstop during meals and when I should have been sleeping.

All that’s in the past.

This is the future.

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My Writing Journey, pt. 3

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2:

In late 2004, I had a revelation about the 900-page fantasy novel I’d been working on the past three years – the following two thoughts, in the following order: “I don’t think I achieved good integration of all the characters’ individual plots” and “This novel is getting to be awfully long”.

My first novel was a mess.

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