Monday, 30 January 2012

Satisfaction takes time

Before I get onto the real topic of today, I just want to point you in the direction of another blogfest I signed up to! Yes, it may be the start of an addiction! This one is all about kissing scenes, and is especially for Valentine's Day. Should be fun!

Now, onwards with a progress update!

For the longest time, I have been battling with the opening chapter of my WIP, and it has been a really stressful time. The reason it has been so tough is that I originally write this story - or the bones of it - when I was 14. Back then, I was....okay...at writing, but very unpolished and my ideas about relationships came from a very innocent perspective.

I started to work on it again around ten years later, and realised that it needed a LOT of work. At 24, I had some experience behind me, and could look at everything I'd written from an adult's perspective. Some of what I already had was better than I thought, but much of it was worse. I developed new ideas, explored the characters further and it began to take shape.

Life got in the way again, and although I have occasionally tapped away at it, I started to think it was destined to live inside my computer, unfinished.

At the start of this year, it occurred to me that I was wasting a lot of time. I have my freelance work to do during the day, but my evenings and weekends were spent lost inside Sims 3 (shush, I love that game!). Don't get me wrong, I do have friends and go outside the house too, but mostly, I felt that I had wasted precious hours I could have used to do something creative.

I always felt like my WIP would be the one piece of work that actually stands a chance of getting published, but that  - obviously - wouldn't happen if I didn't finish it. One of the biggest challenges in my way was the mess that used to be my first chapter. We all know that if the first few pages doesn't engage the reader, they are unlikely to keep turning the pages, and mine wasn't engaging at all. In the past, it seemed as though it wasn't possible to fix it, but all it really needed was patience and determination.

It took me more than a week to be happy with the first four pages - and that is shockingly slow - but even though it did take a long time, it was totally worth it so I can say that I am finally happy with my opener. I can't say that it is 100% perfect, but it is definitely a million times more interesting than it used to be!


14 comments:

  1. I love taking a break from my work, because when I do come back to it I always find ways to tighten it :)

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    1. I agree completely! If you stare at it for too long, it starts to look dull and repetitive. A break helps you look at it from a fresh perspective, so you can judge whether it really is dull and repetitive lol.

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  2. I had to take Sims off the computer...way too addictive! Best of luck on the WIP.

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    1. Thanks!!

      Originally, I intended to only play Sims on my PC and use my laptop for work only, but I totally failed at that! I am pretty good at keeping myself away from it during "work" hours, which is good because once I start, I find it hard to stop!

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  3. Don't even get me started on the Sims! LOL

    I agree, the first few pages are very important, and I'm glad you've finally found something you're happy with, because I know how hard you've been working on it in recent weeks.

    I hope the rest of the editing/ re-writing goes more smoothly for you from now on.

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    1. LOL, the Sims is the ENEMY!

      Lol, you more than anyone know how hard it's been! I really appreciate all of the advice and support, and I will try not to be so whiny through the rest of the process!! <3

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  4. First chapters take a lot of work, especially the first couple of pages. Good for you for taking it slow. Sometimes, that's the only way to get it done right! (New follower)

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    1. Thanks for following, Emily!

      Yeah, the first chapter has felt like a huge battle, and I think I've won...at last! Now to tackle the rest lol!

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  5. One thing that's always helped me is Anne Lamott's point about writing first drafts; that is, just get it all down on paper the first time, even if there are parts of it that you don't like very much or if there are parts that are just stream-of-consciousness stuff that you know you'll have to edit later. Then go back and revise and edit. That's helped me because then I don't have to worry about editing as I go along; I can just save that for later and just focus on writing it all down first.

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    1. That is excellent advice, indeed! That is pretty much how I wrote my first draft, but now I have to go back and fix all the ugly parts - it's very challenging!

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    2. I know what you mean about the first chapter. I've written mine and reworked it several times since! Nice to meet you- I'm new to your blog.

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    3. Hi, nice to meet you too! :D

      I'm glad I'm not the only one who has spent a ton of time on the first chapter!

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  6. I think I probably rewrote my first chapter ten times at least. I think it's because you want it to be perfect. It's the make or break part of a book for me.

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    1. Yeah, I think so too. If that first chapter isn't interesting enough, why keep reading?

      I think I am on my sixth draft now, and I really hope that is the one lol!

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