New Draft – Week 1

June 3, 2014 § 7 Comments

notes I took of critique on the 60 chapters I read to the Tucson 3

notes I took of critique on the 60 chapters I read to the Tucson 3

So now that I’m home again, back at my computer, here’s what I’ve been doing this first week.

Going through the notes I took of the critiquing of 60 chapters (they’re short, 2-6 pages each) I read to my writing pals in Tucson. Starting with Chapter 1, Page 1, I’m rereading out loud (to myself) and tweaking/revising according to comments on these pages you see in the photo. As I go, as I accomplish–and I always have to have some way to chart my progress, some teensy reward for each baby step–I color in the circled chapter number with orange highlighter pen.

There are a couple big questions in the plot I don’t know how to answer yet, but I’m not willing to spend time right now, this early, pondering them. My plan is to keep going with the revision of this next draft till I’m at the last page again. Maybe along the way these questions will be answered, but I suspect I’m going to have to spend time brainstorming possibilities for them on paper, which will be fun, too.

I like to write by hand, with any real paper available (yay graph paper!) anywhere (in my car, waiting for the ferry…on the ferry, at the library, but mostly home here in my apartment), with a favorite real pen (see photo below… thanks, Tam! for the birthday supply). Then type them into my desktop, editing and expanding as I go. Next I read the pages out loud to myself over and over, tweaking this and that till I like the sounds of it. This takes me hours. Feels like minutes.

Writing instrument of choice: Precise V5 Rolling Ball black ...thanks, TAM!!

Writing instrument of choice: Precise V5 Rolling Ball black …thanks, TAM!!

If I stumble as I read aloud I go back and figure out a way to smooth the voice; use different words, a different order. Sometimes they sound like they should make perfect sense, but they don’t, and I might miss that totally, which is why having reader pals is so important to the process of finishing.

I’m at Chapter 14 today. Actually it was 13 but it needed to be sliced in two. Not because it was too long. It was a dramatic decision.

I’ve been reading the last book- Dreams of Gods & Monsters -in the Laini Taylor fantasy trilogy, Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Talk about dramatic pacing. Wow! I’m a very slow reader (each of these books 500-600 pages), and many fantasy books I can’t handle because it’s hard for me to remember all the characters, let alone pronounce their names. But these three have made me a speed reader by comparison. How does she do it? She’s a master, that’s how. How did she get that way? Lots and lots of love for + years and years in practice of, her writing craft. Brava!!  xo Pierr

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§ 7 Responses to New Draft – Week 1

  • TAWilliams says:

    Writing by hand? You are a much stronger person than I!

    • pierrmorgan says:

      Haha – don’t think it has much to do with strength…I just really like office supplies, the feel and sound of them. Going slow I seem to think better with a pen in my hand. Good luck with your trilogy!

  • Wow it’s so cool that you write by hand then expand as you type! Love reading about your rewriting and critiquing process, it’s definitely the part of writing I struggle with most!

    • pierrmorgan says:

      Hey, thanks for commenting. Yeah, I never really wanted to rewrite before. Seemed so hard. I was afraid I’d lose something or make it dead…take its essence away? But something shifted in my brain about the process. Maybe since I started reading like a writer (which I never used to, it kicked in a year or so ago), and got to thinking that all the writing/books/authors I admire probably didn’t/don’t read that way in first draft. I’m very lucky to have such trusted reader/critiquer pals. Your writing is wonderful. I’m always hooked right away to keep reading. Keep on!

  • Patti Kuche says:

    Your notes look to be works of art in themselves. Keep up the good work Pierr!

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