Six impossible things

Posts Tagged revising

Fixing Chapter One: Putting it all together

Whether you end up revising Chapter One every few scenes or wait until you have a complete draft to revise it (or even to write it), it usually helps to think a little about the things that you want the chapter to do. First and foremost, of […]

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Fixing Chapter One: Background, setting, backstory

The third problem that article-writer had with Chapter Ones was “too much background and too much telling.” His answer was to cut out all the description. Unfortunately, this “simple and obvious” solution isn’t a universal one – in the first place, it doesn’t allow for differences in […]

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Fixing Chapter One: Plot

The second deadly Chapter One problem that was mentioned in the article that started me off on this series was “The action is weak or meaningless.” This is obviously a problem, but simply saying “Make it strong and meaningful instead” doesn’t tell you much about how to […]

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Blind spots

Every once in a while, I come across someone who has a blind spot for a particular major part of writing: description, emotions, action, internal monologue, or whatever. A lot of these folks think they can’t write because, without whatever it is they’re missing, their stuff doesn’t […]

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Meddling or editing?

Patricia, what is the dividing line between editing and meddling? The retitling of one of the Harry Potter books comes to mind.- Gene Wirchenko There are a lot of flip answers I could give to this question, because it’s based on a fundamental misconception about the publishing process:  […]

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Micro and Macro

I apologize for being a bit late with this today. Revising a first draft is one of those things that sounds as if it’s easy to talk about until you try…and then once you start digging into it, you start wondering how it’s even possible to do, […]

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The process of revising effectively tends to vary from writer to writer just as the first-draft writing process varies, and it’s not necessarily connected to the way one writes your first drafts. In fact, often (though not always) the revisions process seems to need to be the […]

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What Everybody Knows

On the very first day at Fourth Street Fantasy convention (which as of this posting, is still in session for another half-day or so), Elizabeth Bear mentioned running into a writing myth I’d never heard myself before: Women can’t ride stallions, because stallions get aggressive around women. […]

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Good enough

On Monday I was commiserating with a businessman friend about the miserable state of the economy, the dismal job market, the Packers winning the Superbowl (because he cares, not because I do), and various other usual topics, when he mentioned in passing that he couldn’t find the […]

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I wrote my first novel on a typewriter, and one of my most vivid memories of that is proofreading the final submission draft and trying to decide, over and over, whether it was worth retyping a whole page in order to get rid of one too-common word […]

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