Sunday, May 29, 2011

Trying to Upload Once Every Week (Is a hassle)

I'm not complaining, uploading once a week is hard especially when the week goes by so fast that you've barely made sense out of it and have nothing to blog about. Now I know what the "famous pro's" feel like and why Charlie McDonnell hasn't uploaded anything in a while (Come on, Charlie!). Let's see, the last post was about that little rat called procrastination. I admit, I do procrastinate sometimes (okay, a lot). Usually homework and writing are the procrastinatees and I am, of course, the procrastinator. I did in fact procrastinate on the Night Stalker. I waited a good two and a half weeks before I started revising when I only planned to wait one. My excuse is that I had two and a half weeks of school left and I wanted to go out strong and without any stress. So, to de-stress and go out with a big summer-y bang, I arrived home at 6 o'clock most nights, ate, showered, did an hour of homework, and was asleep by nine-thirty. Lucky me, because I had no homework for the last week, unlike some of my poor stressed out friends. It's a believable excuse, I know.

That brings us to our topic of the day: Revision or Rewriting.

On the 21st of May, I sat down in a three hour car ride, pulled out my new grey notebook and started writing the first chapter of the Night Stalker.... Again. I can hear those British, "WHOTS!" From the invisible people in the back. Yes, I started writing it again. Almost nearly never is a first draft the perfect draft. The first draft is all about getting your ideas on the paper, forming characters, and a very, very experimental, rough plot. With me, the farther I get into a book, the better my writing gets. I fall into the actions, my characters grow, I start thinking that this is the best book ever! Then a couple of months later, I'll read through it again and think,"Wow. That's really terrible." I think the first great writers were just like that. And enter Shakespeare with a sign that reads "Revision". Yes, this is where the great thing that is called revision comes in.

Hundreds of years ago, there was no such thing as revision. Writer's wrote one draft and called it good. Well, this one little writer, Freddy, was terribly smart. One day he was sifting through his animal skins looking at and reading his earlier works and he realized that all of these writings were really, really bad. So he said to himself," Hmmm... All of these things that I have written could be extremely amazing if I rewrote somethings here and took out this part here then maybe added some detail here. And hey! I'm going to call this process revision!"

You get my point.

I often think that this is the one thing that most teachers leave out of their teachings. They have you do all these silly things like making up three plots then picking one out. If you like doing that it's fine, but I can't stand it. After you pick out one, they usually make you write out the events, characters, plot, setting and then you can write your draft. Once you have a draft they say,"Read through and edit and proofread, dearies!" Though it's probably not that creepily said.


Key words: Edit and Proofread.

The teacher should have said," Read through then revise. Revision is an important step that shouldn't be missed. Every draft needs revision at sometime or another. Take the Night Stalker for example. The first chapter is very poorly written with a lot of info filler, LONG paragraphs of information having to do with the story, and poor plotting. I couldn't fix those things with editing!

Believe it or not, revision and editing and proofreading are completely different things. According to revision is: to alter something already written or printed, in order to make corrections, improve, or update: to revise manuscript. Whereas editing is: to prepare (text) for publication by checking and improving its accuracy, clarity, etc

Revision has nothing to do with spelling or grammar correction. It pertains to removing unwanted words, paragraphs, chapters, and characters. It involves reworking the plot, characters, and settings to make the story flow smoothly and to make it more believable. That is why revision is also called rewriting. Usually you are changing so much in your story that you have to basically rewrite it. Also, you may rewrite a story hundreds of times (That was a hyperbole, an extreme exaggeration) before you ever start editing. 

When and Where?

When and where do you edit? When is simple and the answer is right before editing. Always revise before editing is more appropriate. Think about it. Why would you take the time to proofread and fix all of the grammar first only to delete it entirely from the story later? Where is in you manuscript where ever it needs rearranging, retelling, strengthening, and structuring.   

P.S. Editing is a term I sometimes use loosely. Usually when I say edit I am referring to revision, editing, and proofreading. In this post when I say edit I mean the process of correcting grammar. Also, editing and proofreading are very, very closely related. They are so close that they could be, and sometimes are, counted, together, as a single step.

I hope that this post was helpful to you and if you have any questions about writing, just comment or message me. 

Happy Writings, 


Monday, May 9, 2011

Stuck... Or just Procrastination.

Today's topic of discussion for the 4+ people who read this blog (no, I am not counting myself) is..... Procrastination!

Real Time Example: I really should be doing math right now, but instead I am working on a blog about procrastination.

Oh, the irony.

The dictionary defines procrastination as:

to defer action; delay: to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost.
So, what happens when you procrastinate? Well, usually you pull an all nighter to get it done if it's a project for school or work or something. Other times it slowly gets done over the next 1 day - 75+ years. It's like me and 90% of my writing. 90% of it usually never gets finished while the other 10% (Night Stalker, Arya Poisonhold, The 13th Games, school assignments, ect.) does get done.

So after you pulled off that all nighter to get what ever it is that you are doing done what does it look like? Sloppy. Terrible. Poor. Severely lacking anything excellent. And often forgetting key elements. When you hand in that project, you fail or get fired. And if it's bad enough, the teachers will hate you forever and kick you out of school because there is no way you will ever get your dream job at Mickey D's.

Do you see what I am saying? Procrastination is bad. BAD!

And, it is very much like Writer's Block.

See! I did that all by myself in about 20 minutes... Now, I will stop procrastinating and get my math lesson done.

A Few Updates...

I am starting revision on the Night Stalker and continuing revision on The Thirteenth Games.

I am working on a 51 Things do Learn and Do in One Summer.

And, I am looking for tips or good websites on revision, editing, proofreading, and publication. Revision is a mouthful. With track and school it's hard to even get my head around the whole revising book plot, characters.... It's just so much to take in. I'll post my plan on Wednesday. You guys will help with it won't you?

Bonsoir ou bonjour où que vous soyez. Quoi qu'il en soit, je suis parti. Au revoir!


Change the World! Do something! Don't Procrastinate!