Saturday, June 30, 2007

Taking Time to Write a Better Book

By Keith Fisher

First, have you ever wondered what the LDSwritersblogck group looks like? Here for your approval are we.
Fist row left Nichole, Connie is directly behind her. Darvell is next to Nichole and Karen next to him. Behind Karen is Gaynell and CL (Inky)Beck is behind Darvell. I am the large guy in the rear. Thanks to the Giles’ for inviting us to their backyard for brunch.

Now the Blog:

Last week I promised to keep you informed about my attempt to rescue my book, The Award. As you may recall, I am re-writing my first novel.

The work was going well—I was making notes for changes—ideas were coming faster than I could write them down. In the middle of it, I heard from some of my proofreaders about another work in progress.

The readers pointed out some story problems and typos I hadn’t noticed. Putting The Award aside, I set out to fix the other one. That’s when I discovered another facet to the subject of my blog last week.

As we polish our craft, all writers learn better ways of telling a story. We apply our knowledge to our new projects, and they are better than the old ones.

After fixing the errors, I started changing semicolons and ellipses to em-dashes and found other problems in the exposition. There were obvious errors I wouldn’t have paid attention to before.

I guess that’s the danger we face in taking a long time to write a book . . . or is it a blessing? I embarked on yet another re-write of a project I had sworn I would never touch again. Learning more about the mechanics of writing can cause re-writes, but the knowledge will make it a better book.

And when I get tired of the re-writes, I can go back to my other works in progress and make all the changes to those books. In the meantime, If I hurry, I can submit my book before I learn something else and take it apart again.

From my ramblings, you may think it’s better to learn all you can before you start to write, but keep in mind that 99 percent of good writing is learned by doing. Keep writing and if you have to scrap 4,000 words and start over, don’t despair. I have heard it took hundreds of failed attempts for Edison to invent the light bulb.


Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

I totally understand what you're going through. I have been working on the same novel for three years now (the last year has been spent doing major rewrites), and while I am growing tired of it, mostly because I'm anxious to start my next one, I am so glad I've kept with it because everyday it gets closer to being the "masterpiece" I'd originally dreamed of. To me, rewriting really is the best part of writing.

Thanks for your blog.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

By the way, it was great to see your pictures.