Sunday, February 1, 2009

More Helpful Stuff

I read my feeds every day - well, almost. I also browse through the feeds other writers list to see if I can find any other gems. Many say the same things, so I tend to keep to the first one I found in this instance. It's not that my choice is necessarily better, but if I've learned something from one source, chances are I'll learn more if I stay tuned in.

As a result of all this reading, I find links which I like to share. Hence a late addition to the link salad posted previously.

The blog over at Apex has some useful insight to writers block. I loved this bit:

Or perhaps you’ve already spent hours, days, or months working on a short story or novel. Back when you had the original idea, you felt like it was a beautiful, golden thing that would change the world and win you that award and the recognition you deserve. But things went wrong from the start, and the words never matched up with what was in your head. Or one of the characters threw you a curve ball, doing something that wasn’t in the original outline, and now the story has spiraled out of control. No matter how hard you push, the characters won’t do what you want them to do. After all that work, you’re stuck.

The truthfulness of it. The impetus the new idea has. The frustration of not keeping that initial excitement. The sadness at it lying lifeless in front of you months down the track.

I think it's the reason I hate revisions or rewrites. It's one skill I must master and learn to accommodate, if not learn to love. Not sure how to get to that point other than sticking at it.

Topics seem to cycle around the blogs. All the agents are currently talking about query letters, while many of the genre sites are talking about January book releases and available grants. Already published writers who aren't talking about a just released book, are discussing the nuts and bolts of story telling.

Most emerging writer sites seem to be talking about dusting off older work and reworking them. Therefore the above post from Apex seemed timely indeed.

When you write, how much revision do you do before you submit? How much do you do if it is returned with a rejection?


  1. Good questions, and for me it depends on the story how much I revise. Sometimes tales seem to spring out of my head in good working order. Others I have to hammer, chop, and rearrange until they work. I usually go over a story at least three times before sending it out. Sometimes more.

    As for rejections, it depends. If it was a pro market, I shrug and send it out again. Smaller markets, especially those that give feedback, usually make me pause a little and reflect. Not too much, though. One editor's opinion is just that--one grain of salt in the ocean.

  2. Like Aaron, I try to go over it at least three times. When I get it back from the first pro market, and they have nice enough to give a quick comment on it, I will take their comments in, let them simmer, consider if they are with or without merit and if they are I will edit accordingly. If not I will go over it one more time and send it on to the next market.

  3. Three passes at a story is about what I do, too. I try to space them at least a day or two apart so I catch things that I may have overlooked the previous time. As for rejections, I just turn around and send it off again, but I keep in mind any comments the piece may have generated. After three or four rejections, then I begin to look it over and think about revising again.

  4. For some reason, work is letting me read your blog and post.

    The only story I've seriously sent out to places has been revised perhaps four times, it's been rejected a fair few times and I'm trying to find time (and motivation) to revise it again.

    I do really get that sense of stories losing their excitement after the first burst.