Friday, September 22, 2006

Things my mother used to say

My mother, like most mothers, used to always proclaim the following: If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.

Well, for once, I decided to take her advice. And thus is the reason that this is the first post I've made all week.

But I'm back, and I'm really excited about a lot of things happening right now. I started revisions on my new novel, My Life As A Rhombus (title subject to change), a few weeks ago. And let me tell you, I really love this novel. I haven't received the editorial letter yet, but there were a number of things that I knew Andrew wanted me to do, so I decided to go ahead and start incorporating some of his suggestions. So far, so good. Be sure to check out the Flux page regularly, as it changes almost every day.

I'm also furiously working on a new project, although I'm not quite sure when I'll have it completed. I'm about 7/16 of the way through the first draft, bust as most authors know, the first draft is nothing more than glorified toilet paper (I threw away almost all of the first draft of Rhombus...but that's a story for another time.) I'm hoping that I can salvage much more of the current WIP, but as of right now, it's looking a lot like Charmin.

3 Comments:

Blogger Don Tate II said...

Question, Varian. You mentioned tossing your first draft. I've heard this a thousand times from other authors, but for some reason it struck me when I read it here. Knowing that I'm going to throw away the first draft, at least for me, might help take some of the pressure off to just write. Question is, do you pay much attention to grammar, correct punctuation, when to break a paragraph, structure stuff at this stage, or do you address that stuff later, in your later drafts?

9/24/2006 8:51 PM  
Blogger Varian Johnson said...

For me, the hardest part is getting the first draft down on paper. When I start a scene, I usually write nothing but dialogue. I come back in later and fill in narrative and stuff like that (I still consider this the first draft). I don't concern myself with grammar and sentence structure that much (unless I know someone from my critique group is going to read it).

While I use a lot of stuff from the first draft in the second draft, I also tend to toss a lot of things as well. I almost ALWAYS rewrite the first chapter - I tend to know my characters a lot better by the time I finish the first draft. At that point, I also pay more attention to sentence structure, pacing, punctuation, etc.

Again, for me, it's difficult to write a novel, but it's much easier to revise it once it's on paper.

I hope that helps.

9/24/2006 9:26 PM  
Blogger Don Tate II said...

Yes, does help. This weekend, I picked up a novel I had been writing earlier this year, and started where I left off. But, because I had to re-read the previous stuff, I found myself spending more time correcting, fixing, revising, instead of charging forward. Or, as I write, I fight myself on sentence stuff--is this a complete sentence; should this have a comma; should this be a new paragraph. This is stuff that probably comes naturally to a writer--but, for me, is questioned constantly. Thanks! Very helpful.

9/25/2006 9:54 AM  

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