Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pitch Wars Edits / Writing Progress

So, first and foremost, Happy Fall! This is my favorite season! Bring on the scarves, hats, gloves, sweaters and hot drinks :) After moving into the house and finally feeling settled in, I'm excited to deck out the place with some fall leaves and pumpkins :)

With the cooler weather, it's the perfect time to get cozy, break out the fuzzy socks, sit by the fire, and get back into the groove of writing. This time, however, things are a little different with being in Pitch Wars and all.

Being in Pitch Wars is pretty darn awesome. I'm still stunned at finding myself in this position and I intend to enjoy every minute of the process (no matter how much my eyes want to read anything but my ms! I've read it so many times, the words are mushing together--but more on that later). It's been really great connecting with the Pitch Wars community; everyone is so sweet and kind, not to mention extremely talented--it's a great honor to be amongst you all.

But what comes after the PW announcements? Hard work.

After getting my edit letter and video call from my amazing mentor, Brianna Shrum, I had my list of things to tackle on my MS. It was nice to have some sort of direction going into revision. I went through my MS with my CP and made changes before submitting to PW, but in my gut I knew it wasn't ready yet. Brianna really hit on the nail for me when she explained what my MS needed--which I've realized is one of my weaknesses. None of my edits included major macro changes though, and for that I was pretty happy with because truth be told, I'm not sure if I could handle a huge overhaul in the short time frame. So to you Pitch Warriors cranking out those huge edits, I applaud you.

To break down this month and next, I'll be taking the rest of September to revise my manuscript. I'm planning to be done by this Sunday, and then I'll do a read-through on Monday and Tuesday to make sure that all the changes are cohesive. Then off to my mentor on the 30th, where I wait for line-edits! As I wait, I'll work on my pitch, query, and do some agent research on who I'd like to query outside of the contest when it's over.

Sounds pretty peachy, but how am I doing exactly?

Well, the edits were harder than I thought they'd be (aren't they always?). I really only did heavy changes to one chapter so far, but I feel like I'm being hyper critical when I read my manuscript that I'm going at a snail's pace, second guessing every single word choice. I am driving myself mad I tell ya. Because I feel like I'm doing something, but when I look at my track changes, it looks like I haven't done much at all. The story looks the same (plot-wise), but I am hoping it *feels* different.

Hopefully when I do the reread and I'm reading it on my kindle versus MS word, I'll feel better.

But here are a few things I've learned about myself in the process:
  • The gut twinge - This happens when I read something in my MS and I instantly hate it. This tells me that it can be written better, but I don't know exactly how. It just feels off, so I tweak and tweak, hoping it solves the problem.
  • Rearranging & transitioning - When you rearrange paragraphs within a chapter, you lose the initial flow, so you have to revise so the flow in the chapter works, but also with the whole of the book. This is actually much harder than it sounds and probably contributes to me feeling like I'm doing nothing.
  • Bad eggs in the carton - Some chapters are really great, and then there are others that aren't so much. But you can't just toss that bad egg out, or in this case, the chapter. You need it to make a dozen. So you patch it up and try to make it work, but it still doesn't look whole. The yolk is oozing from the cracks. Chapter 12, I'm looking at you.
  • Digging deep - Since plot is there in the MS, I'm focusing on building up the emotion throughout the novel. Considering I'm an emotional person since I cry at basically everything, you'd think that'd be a breeze. But it's difficult bringing the emotions of characters to life without being melodramatic. You teeter between that fine line, and you don't want to tip over the edge.
There are some positives though:
  • This is probably the best polished manuscript I've written (and within a small time frame too, whoo!).
  • After doing major tweaking on one of the chapters, I think my pacing is right on!
  • No insta-love BS in this manuscript, which I take as a compliment, because looking back on M2, I could have built the romance part better knowing what I know now.
  • This book's more hooky than M2, which I think will make it more commercially viable.
  • I'm making significant progress in novel writing from when I began in Fall 2013.

4 comments:

  1. Congrats on getting this far! Edits are rough, but every painful round makes the MS that much better. So happy it's going well for you :)

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    1. Thanks! Yes, very painful, but SO worth it.

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  2. It's great when we can see improvement in our writing over time! I love editing so much. I wish I could stay in editing mode forever. :P I'm glad you're getting things wrapped up. Keep me updated!

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    1. Yeah it is great. Kind of keeps the momentum going. Edits drive me insane though! I keep second guessing every little word. It makes me mad, I tell ya!

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