Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More on Edits

Each writer has there own distinct style. I'm sure there are a few (whom I utterly despise) that can sell their first draft. Few and far between. Most authors have to revise and edit and polish their stories several times before they send their babies to editors at publishing houses and/or agents.

For me, my rough draft is the meat and potatoes of the story: the dialogue and the action. Some emotions. But I tend to gloss over the descriptive parts of the story, the garnishes, the loaded aspect of the potatoes, the marinade.

Right now, I'm just editing Torn Between Murder and Love for content errors. Then I'll go back through it again and add in more descriptive passages and more emotion. The main character, Lorna, undergoes a big character change, and I have to make certain its believable, otherwise the story will fall flat.

I think some of the reason why I had a hard time adding description into my stories from the start comes from my tendency to gloss over the big paragraphs of setting and description in books. I love my imagination and I like to see the characters and the buildings as I want to see them, and since it doesn't always mash up with what the author says, I ignore the author. LOL Wow, does that sound narcissistic. But I honestly think that's where my problem comes from.

What about you? Is there any part of your writing that you have to go back and add? Or do you just tighten up and fix grammar when you edit?


Cherie Reich said...

I'm with you on getting the story out and then filling it in. In short stories, I do try to focus on everything, but when I wrote my two completed novels, I wrote just the story with a little bit of details/emotions/etc. Now, I'm having to go back through and add these things while I work on edits. I'm trying to do better about it with new WiP, but I find that it is really slowing down my writing, so I'm on the fence about going back and writing as I once did and add the filler later, which can be a big pain, or just go slower and have the story better written and needing less work when it is finished.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Yay! It makes me so happy to hear that I'm not alone in my struggles, Cherie. And you're right, writing novels compared to short stories are completely different. I tend to add in more description into my short stories than I do my novels. Not sure why exactly that is. Some chapters of my novel, I don't need to add any more description in, but others are much too skeleton.

Unknown said...

I'm with you on description for the exact reasons you mentioned. Plus I write YA, and there tends to be less description than in adult novels. But that really does vary according to subgenre and author.

Nicole Zoltack said...

You're right, Stina, the amount of description a story requires does depend on the genre. YA doesn't require as much. There's less descriptive passages in my fantasy YA, The Land of Imagining, but I don't think it makes the story lack because of it.

Aubrie said...

I have to go back and connect bigger picture things on the second draft: like character arcs, and the themes of the book. And try to tie it all together! Phew. That's hard for me.

Faith said...

Eee, description... the bane of my existence... but you know what, I do the same thing while reading sometimes! I skip (or skim) over large descriptive passages and keep going, and I think my writing style reflects my reading style. I know some people love to linger and immerse themselves in the author's vision of the world, but I like to keep the story going when I read... ugh, that DOES sound bad, doesn't it! But I know exactly what you mean.

Description is definitely a necessary growth area for me.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

What a great topic about editing! Thanks for bringing it up.

I HATE writing first drafts. For "The Hungarian." I wrote the first draft and it sucked. BUT it allowed me to get to know the characters because the 2nd draft which was more tighter and sell-worthy.

Still, for me, that first draft is important because I need to get to know the characters. Well, who's got the time for that?

So what I do now is research, plot, make character bios, cast my characters and write a short story about my characters. I did that for "The Count's Lair" it worked wonderfully.

So for me, the pen to paper the first time out is about characters. I don't have problems with descriptions. I always try to use a good economy of words and I try to touch upon the five senses. What would that place smell like? What would a kiss like, that kind of stuff. I'm also expanding and trying to use metaphors as descriptions. When they work, they're awesome, but it takes time to master.

Just wanted to let you know I picked you for my Creative Blogger Award. You don't have to accept it, but if you want to check it out, visit my blog at http://sgcardin.blogspot.com


Stephanie Burkhart said...

Cherie! I was hoping to catch up with you. Please send me an email at sgcardin1@yahoo.com. I picked you to win a GC for Desert Breeze for following me, but I've had a devil of time trying to find you on the Net. Forgive.


Nicole Zoltack said...

Thanks, Steph, for the award! Next blog post I'll put it up. :)