Friday, May 21, 2010

Finish Everything

When I hover my cursor over my Temper word doc, it says "Date Modified 4/15/2010". Which means it's been over a month since I even opened the blasted file.

If you're wondering, no, I still haven't made a decision. Should I finish Temper? Should I start something new?

One of my favorite bits of writing advice (because I really need to learn to follow this) is FINISH EVERYTHING.

Finish everything.

If you quit projects somewhere along the way, then you won't really learn from them. You'll end up being really good at beginnings, okay at writing middles, and total crap at writing endings because you never write the endings.

And why wouldn't this apply to the revision side of things as well? If all you do it is finish stories, then yeah, you'll be able to write a nice, complete first draft. But it will never progress past draft status. Because you never learned how to properly revise. Because that's the point that you always gave up.

So looks like this post is really just me trying to convince myself to finish The Temper.

My crit partner Ina has suggested setting a deadline for us to swap manuscripts, and I think that might really help me. I do good with deadlines. Some of my best school work was done by skipping fourth period to finish up the essay due fifth period.

So we shall see how that works out.

Until then, tell me some of your great revisions stories. Did you figure out something that made the story sooo much better? Did you find out how to make your characters really stand out? Did you discover awesome bits about your story you never knew?

Please, convince me that editing is awesome. I kinda need it right now.


  1. I'm knee deep in revisions right now and I have to say that my WiP is so much better than the first draft. So I guess I'm glad I'm going through with it. It's nice to see how much the story has developed.
    When I wrote a long time ago, I never finished a story and I regret it now. I hope to go back and finish them.
    Good luck!

  2. Great advice. Now that I'm in revision mode I'm happy to say I'm still madly in love with my manuscript and every edit just makes it better. Although I admit I get frustrated with it at times. But it never lasts long.

  3. Same story here. I'm going through revisions as we speak (type)and I can say with 100% confidence that my book is so much better because of it. I've added layers of complexity that enhance the story, deepened some characters and clarified motivations, spit polished dialogue that needed it. It's not always fun, and I have to drag myself to the computer some days, but in the end (published or not), I'll know that I've made it the best that I could.

    You will to!

  4. I. Feel. You.

    All of my stories prior to Eternally Yours I gave up on. I started editing them, but at some point I decided that they were just practice stories--that they weren't good enough to seriously pursue. Although I tried to get them to a reasonable state before giving up.

    I guess it boils down to whether or not you care about the story enough to push through. But don't get too despondent. I recently read King's ON WRITING and he believes you should let your ms sit for a least 6 weeks before editing it, so maybe you just need some more time?

    Good luck!

  5. Um... if "Finish Everything" is a slogan to live by, then I'm REALLY behind. *sheepish grin*

    I don't know what it says about me as a writer, but I've only "finished" one book while I have about twenty Word docs with stories that haven't progressed past the first page. Maybe that means I wasn't mature enough then to handle writing a full book or creating full ideas (I started writing some of those when I was 11).

    I do fully intend to *completely* finish my current manuscript, though, but I'm like you - still stuck on revisions. I've revamped a lot already, and I like my story MUCH more now that before I started outlining the rewrite.

    I find that starting is always the hardest part. Once you get into the swing of things... you won't be able to stop (I hope!)

    Good luck!

  6. Good luck. And as weird as this sounds, I LOVE editing. I'm a way better re-writer than an actual writer. :)

  7. Hey, Kat. I feel ya, girl. Revisions are super tough to get through. They can be agonizing and frustrating and give you gray hairs. But when you've revised a section - added those layers, tightened up your prose and given life to your characters - it's SO worth the labor. It's kind of like child birth...without the mess. ;)

    You can do it!

  8. Good luck with the revisions, hope all goes well with it. I love the slogan...finish everything. Nice post.

    I’m stopping by to say hi, hope you had a nice week. Have a nice “rest-of-the-week”!!

  9. When I'm frustrated over revisions, sometimes it takes no more than time to solve things. After thinking my story over, a missing ingredient will come to me, so don't give up.