Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pausing On Purpose

“Pausing?” you ask as you glance at the title of this post. “I’m not even close to meeting my Speedbo word count goal and Glynna wants to talk about PAUSING?”
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No. Or at least not about pausing right at this very moment.
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So keep those fingers flying on the keyboard. Keep up your momentum as you rush headlong toward your month’s end goal. Some of you are right on target, your story product is coming out even better than you’d dare dream. Congratulations!
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But...others of you may be doubting that what you’ve written the past four weeks has any value whatsoever. Maybe you faithfully met your daily word count goal, but there’s an underlying uneasiness that you’ve ended up with an unsalvageable mess.
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The scenes you were so excited about writing now seem flat and pointless. There are huge gaps where you jumped ahead in the story and need to fill in. You suspect some scenes could be deleted altogether with no loss to the story--just to the word count. Maybe you feel you’ve wander off your intended path, your storyteller’s GPS having gone on holiday. Disheartened, it’s all you can do to keep going these final days of Speedbo.
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That’s what we’re going to talk about today--what happens when Speedbo’s month concludes. The PURPOSEFUL PAUSE before you stuff your month’s worth of hard work under the bed or chuck it into the trash can.
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All is not lost.
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Years ago I attended a day-long writing workshop. The instructor covered myriad topics. But the thing that stuck with me is that she gave us each a sheet of paper with these words written in large, bold letters: I WRITE ONLY TO REWRITE.
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Sometimes the best thing we can do for our story is to PAUSE. To step back, give it a little breathing room for few days or a week while we work on something else. This might be when we’re finished with the first chapter, the entire book, or in the middle when we’re certain we’ve lost our way. That’s when we need to take a deep breath and read it through from beginning to wherever we are at the time. You know, the old-fashioned way--with probing questions and a red pen in hand.
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The questions I’m sharing today aren’t meant to be all-inclusive, but maybe they’ll help you get jumpstarted when you come to Speedbo’s end. Remember, I WRITE ONLY TO REWRITE.What is the MORAL PREMISE? In other words, what’s the backbone of the story that you want reflected in each scene? “_______ leads to _______. But _______ leads to ______.” (Example: “Blind ambition leads to destruction of relationships. But love-motivated sacrifice leads to enduring bonds.”) Have you illustrated your premise throughout the manuscript?
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1 - Have you started the story in the RIGHT place?Often first scenes get off to a slow start as we pack in all that back story before the real story begins a few chapters later. Can you streamline the back story? Or should you bring that second or third chapter to the forefront, then gradually feed in the back story of how your characters got to the opening point?
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2 - Are all the scenes NECESSARY? Maybe writing a cute scene or an action-packed one was fun, but in retrospect it serves no real purpose in the story. Perhaps it should be deleted or maybe it needs a shot of directional energy. Which leads us to GMC. Goal, motivation and conflict...
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3 - Have you given your characters a GOAL worthy of fighting for? Is it something the reader can identify with and cheer them on toward? It needs to be something the character can’t just give up with an “oh, well” shrug. How can you strengthen it?
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4 - What about character MOTIVATION to reach the goal? A weak motivation will sabotage even the best of goals. Readers need to know that people are saying, thinking, feeling and doing things for a reason. A fairly consistent reason, too, not one that changes every time a new scenes opens. Have you made the motivation convincing? Can you make it stronger?
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5 - Is there an overall story-length CONFLICT, increasing obstacles to reaching the goal? Does conflict exist in each scene? If there’s no conflict, either internal or external, it’s very easy for a scene to become what’s known as “episodic”--one that has little purpose and doesn’t move the story forward. Can you strengthen it? (Remembering, of course, that there’s more to conflict than characters arguing.)
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6 - How is the PACING? Did you rush through scenes just to get them out of your head and move on to the next, leaving them with little depth? While stripped-down, fast paced writing can serve a purpose at times, it can also be shallow. Talking heads without dialogue tags or body movement. No internal dialogue to clue us in on what the Point of View (POV) character is thinking and feeling. No sense of time or place. No use of sight, sound, taste, touch, smell. Layer it in.
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Are there other scenes where you elaborated on and on and on? This is often a danger in trying to reach a set word count in limited time. Clearly padding that slows things down. Too much description, pointless dialogue, repeating the same thing multiple times but in a different way. Can you cut and condense?
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7 - Have you TOLD too much, rather than SHOWING? Have you told the reader that something significant has happened “off stage” that they should have been allowed to see in action? Have you SAID how a character feels rather than letting the reader experience how he/she feels?
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8 - Have you kept the point of view consistent within a scene, not head-hopping? Have you chosen the RIGHT POV for a scene? Have you taken full advantage of deep POV where the viewpoint character sees, feels, thinks and describes things in their own unique way?
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9 - Have you jumped from scene to scene in a jerky fashion with no TRANSITIONS to smooth the way? Will a few additional sentences do the trick or do you need a more substantial “sequel” to the previous scene?
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10 - And what about the story’s BLACK MOMENT – do you have one? Have your scenes climbed steadily to an “all is lost” point? Is the black moment strong enough that the reader feels there’s no way things can work out in the end? If not, weave in a build-up to a stronger black moment.
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11 - Does the story have a SATISFYING ENDING? Have you wrapped up loose ends? Did you jump too quickly from the black moment to save-the-day or happily ever after?
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With only a few days remaining of the Speedbo month, press on to meet your word count goal. Very soon, wherever you are in the story, you can pause on purpose to remind yourself: “I WRITE ONLY TO REWRITE.”
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Where are you today in your perceptions of Speedbo? How confident are you with what you’ve written thus far? What do you sense needs to be tweaked or revamped when the Speedbo month comes to an end? Do you now recognize that no matter how negatively you currently FEEL about your month’s effort, the output can be fixed?
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If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a winner’s choice of one of my books, please mention it in the comments section, then check our Weekend Edition for the winner announcement!
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Glynna Kaye’s debut book “Dreaming of Home” was a finalist in the ACFW Carol and Maggie awards, as well as a first place winner of the “Booksellers Best” and “Beacon” awards. Her 4 1/2 star “At Home In His Heart” was chosen as a Reviewers Choice finalist by national magazine RT Book Reviews. Another Love Inspired set in Arizona, “A Canyon Springs Courtship,” will release in September 2013--with two more contracted for 2014!


 





125 comments:

Helen Gray said...

Lots of coffee and chocolate donuts for those of you who need extra caffeine for that last sprint to the finish.

Thanks for the tips, Glynna.

Helen

Amber Perry said...

This was a fabulous post, thank you SO much! In fact, I book marked it so I can come back periodically and make sure I'm doing these things. God bless!!

Gina Welborn said...

Glynna, I am one who hasn't gotten anywhere near my Speedbo goal, but I'm okay with it.

This evening after I got the kiddies to bed, I finally focused on making the tweaks to the first chapter of my WIP. Determined to have at least chapter two written by Friday. So your post was a reminder for me to double-check my chapter for what it needs to have in it.

But now slumber is calling . . .

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Good morning, Seekerville!!!!

WHOA. SOME PARTY YESTERDAY!!! I'm on clean-up duty and I'm rather surprised at how many o' youse missed the garbage can altogether, but no matter...

You write.

I'll clean.

Glynna, lovely post! And I love the pic of you in WARMER TIMES, WRITER AT WORK

:)

I'm still grinning over Missy's and Piper's finals yesterday... and while I know that means A WHOLE BUNCH OF US didn't get "THE CALL", I'm thrilled for the two who did!

That rocks.

Helen, the donuts are perfect! Just what I need. And coffee, mon petit!

Danke!

And Amber, good morning to you! Great pic. Please tell me it's really TWENTY YEARS OLD and you're a grandmother...

(Ruthy hides head and reaches for anti-wrinkle cream)

I'm working on a new draft today... Grabbing coffee and heading into the word abyss.

Love youse.

Cindy W. said...

Wonderful informative post Glynna. Thank you. It is one to print out for my keeper book.

I would love to be entered into your giveaway.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Debra E. Marvin said...

I am 100% guilty of shallow writing during speedbo. I TELL TELL TELL. For me it's not about the details yet and I'm okay with that!

I like to get the bones in place. Scenes that are there to create conflict. If I'm kicked out of Speedbo for writing "His stomach clenched" countless times... I'll take my punishment! Because while I was rushing to keep up with what my characters were saying, I felt all their angst and that drives the story so much better for me.

I swear I'll find better ways to show character emotion during the next five rewrites! Thanks Glynna! I hope Speedbo has been good to you all!

Jackie said...

Hi Glynna,

Yesterday I paused more than once and asked myself, "What's the point of this scene?"

I haven't gone back and edited any scenes yet, but I have paused to determine if I was headed in the right direction.

Thanks for sharing these tips today.

Jackie L.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, HELEN! And thanks again for getting the coffee started! AND donuts!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Amber! Glad you found the post helpful. I know for myself when I get caught up in trying to make word counts that I can end up with a product in MAJOR need of revising!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, GINA! I'm one of those who will be extending Speedbo into April as, due to circumstances beyond my control, I'm going to fall short of my hoped-for word count. But in a lot of ways, Speedbo is a state of mind as much as dates on a calendar!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Early Bird RUTHY! You're THREE hours ahead of me now since Arizona doesn't go on Daylight time. Makes you feel so much farther away. :(

That pic is one taken a few months ago when I took advantage of a prize I won at the Desert Dreams Writers Conference -- 2 nights at the ritzy Scottsdale Princess resort! Of course, I couldn't TOTALLY lounge around but had to find a little time to diligently redline a manuscript that was due in just a few weeks.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, CINDY W! I hope the post is of some use when everyone recovers from 4 weeks of intense Speedbo-ing!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, DEBRA! Sounds like you made good use of your Speedbo time and understand the concept of write fast and revise later! Too often people do something like this and then are disappointed with the product, not realizing the whole point of it is to get the words down so you have something to work with. A potter can't shape clay that doesn't exist!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, JACKIE! I do that, too--go back later to ask 'what IS the point of this scene?' I actually enjoy the rewriting phase more than the initial writing because at that point I can start reshaping it into what I'd envisioned in my head. Make it come alive.

Glynna Kaye said...

Since I didn't get to join the party yesterday, I want to throw in my CONGRATULATIONS to finalists Missy and Piper! We're so proud of both of you!

Rose said...

Glynna,

Great post!

I'm closing in on my goal. Only a couple of 1000 words left to go then I plan to do what you suggested. Save my file, close it and working on a proposal packaged for two weeks before I start my heavy revisions.

kaybee said...

Glynna, a very concise summary of everything a REWRITER needs to know.
Would love to win a book.
Kathy Bailey
Pre-pubbed in New Hampshire

Glynna Kaye said...

WOW, ROSE! That's fabulous!! You'll whip those remaining few thousand words out in no time. CONGRATULATIONS!!

Connie Queen said...

Just put my name to this:
There are huge gaps where you jumped ahead in the story and need to fill in. You suspect some scenes could be deleted altogether with no loss to the story--just to the word count.

DEBRA-- At least "His stomach clenched" sounds good. I'm so tired of writing "He looked at her...she glanced at him..." And "He smiled...she smiled." LOL.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, KATHY! The RE-writing is always the most fun part for me. Getting the initial words 'on paper' can be excrutiating--it's the wordsmithing stuff that comes afterwards that which is most rewarding to me.

Glynna Kaye said...

I just noticed that in my half-asleep state when I was battling Blogger that I miss-numbered my 'points' -- the first about Moral Premise didn't get split out from the previous paragraph. SIGH.

Glynna Kaye said...

CONNIE -- I TRY not to jump ahead too much when I'm writing as it gives me a false sense of where I am in the story. But sometimes the ideas for an out-of-sequence scene just need to get written down. In fact, I've already written the epilogue of my current WIP and I'm only about 1/3 of the way thru the book!

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Glynna,

Excellent summary lessons, back to the basics. So important to step back - I mean PAUSE (or is that paws?!) - and remember the fundamentals.

Thank you, and all the Seekers for hostessing Speedbo. Wonderful "community" effort, made easier because it IS just that.

On to the word count!

And congratulations on all your awards and hard work!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning Glynna, I love the line I only write to rewrite. How true is that? And to be honest, the rewrites are what I like best. Like putting a puzzle together (which is something that distracts me from writing, but I find them relaxing) Maybe those are my pause moments.

I so agree that it helps to set it aside for awhile and let it all gel in your head. Great tips today.

What's your weather up there? Its perfect here in the desert, so imagine its still chilly, but hopefully sunny.

Cindy Regnier said...

Pausing, rewriting, pausing some more, rewriting a lot more. Yeah, I know about that. Sometimes I think it would be a whole lot easier to just do it right the first time. No such thing. So far i haven't found the point where I'm ever "done". Perfect as is - no improvements necessary. And (long pause) I will NEVER get there! But I love it - always more opportunity to make it better!

Janet Dean said...

Glynna, loved your encouraging post and the reminder that I write to rewrite. Sometimes we writers have black moments of our own when we feel all is lost. Or maybe we're just lost. Thanks for the fabulous print-worthy checklist to sort out what needs doing to make our stories shine!

Thanks for the coffee, Helen!

Janet

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, KC (and MAY helping at the keyboard, of course, with that clever PAWS comment)! Good luck on today's word count!

Missy Tippens said...

Glynna, first let me say I love that photo of you!!

I also loved this post. A fantastic check list!! I see a couple of areas I know I need to work on already!!

Carol Moncado said...

The scenes you were so excited about writing now seem flat and pointless. There are huge gaps where you jumped ahead in the story and need to fill in. You suspect some scenes could be deleted altogether with no loss to the story--just to the word count. Maybe you feel you’ve wander off your intended path, your storyteller’s GPS having gone on holiday.

THIS!!!!!!!!!

I'm editing my NaNoNovel from last year [cuz, yeah, I already finished my SpeedBo project - both word count and rough draft ;)]. I texted one of my good friends and critters yesterday something that went a lot like this:

I'm despairing of ever being able to make them any good. It has moments of brilliance. Moments of acceptability. Many moments of mediocrity. And some moments of sheer suckage.

She convinced me that a lot of it is probably in my head, but yes, it likely does need work. [Oh! The purple scribbles on this manuscript!]

I'm different than some of you. For me the sheer joy comes in the original writing. The times when your fingers are flying so fast and then you read what pops up on the screen and you're like "So THAT'S what's wrong with you!" or whathaveyou as your character reveals something you didn't even realized you typed.

I'm not crazy about the editing/rewriting phase. I do it. But I'm not crazy about it. I like having it done though ;).

I got some unexpected encouragement elsewhere yesterday, too. And some really unexpected but exciting-and-scary-at-the-same-time news from a friend. Whisper an unspoken prayer there if you think of it?

Thanks, Glynna! Just what I needed to read this morning!!!!!!

[Funny how God works that out, isn't it? ;)]

Glynna Kaye said...

HEY SANDRA! You're going to be in the mid-high 80s today! Upper 50s here in mountain country and the usual WIND that makes it feel much cooler.

Missy Tippens said...

Debra, I do the same thing--telling on that first draft. I'm finding, though, that it's kind of hard to catch all the areas to fix! So I'm trying to think a scene through before writing it and try to make sure I'm coming up with ways to show.

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks, Glynna, for your well wishes!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good Morning, CINDY R! Yes, wouldn't it be wonderful for the words to flow out in final perfect form? Dream on, right? :)

It's always so hard to call something "done" as I always see things to change--but a contracted book deadline forces the issue. I've very seldom read my own published books because I'm so tempted to get out a pen and start redlining!

Glynna Kaye said...

So true about a writer's "black moments," JANET. There seems to be a point in every book I write where I hate it and wonder if I'll be able to push ahead to finish it. I know there are many times it would be set aside never to be picked up again if it wasn't (weren't, Grammar Queen?) for the power of prayer!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yep, perfect weather here because the mornings are still cool and lovely. Great patio weather.

Fifties are warm for you though. I bet your trees are starting to get leaves.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, MISSY! Each book is a new adventure, isn't it? I get craft 'issues' resolved in one and then face the same challenges again (or new ones) in the next!

Did you sleep at all last night? Are you still floating above the ground with a big smile on your face today? So exciting to have a Seeker to cheer for in the RITAs!

Glynna Kaye said...

Oooh, Carol, saying a prayer for that exciting-scary news!

And congrats on meeting your Speedbo and NaNo goals! I have utter confidence that you'll be able to take those drafts and bring them to a layered and polished life!

Glynna Kaye said...

SANDRA -- No leaves on the trees or bushes yet (it's still been in the mid-teens at night), but last week I had a little pink hyacinth peek out from under the pine needles and BLOOM!

Kav said...

This is a great overview, Glynna. Definitely a keeper. Thanks for permission to pause now and again. :-)

I'm surprised to find that my struggle this time round is coming from my heroine. I have the hero all figured out but can't seem to grasp how the heroine's motivation can conflict with his. I have some scenes that I like between the two but I'll have to go back and layer in those hidden nuances once I know what they are! Argh!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, KAV! It's interesting, isn't it, how some stories seem to "belong" more to the hero or the heroine and we have to REALLY work at making the other character's GMC complement it?

kaybee said...

CONNIE QUEEN,
My people don't smile. Problem solved.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

Turning lemons into lemonade:
Just been told need gall bladder surgery. YIPPEEE! Time to write!
If that isn't a twisted way of looking at things, I don't know what is.
Kathy Bailey

Mary Connealy said...

I WRITE ONLY TO REWRITE

Glynna this is really so true.
I got this drilled into my head in college (long ago!)

THE BEST WRITING IS RE-WRITING.

I was in Journalism, TV, Radio, I majored in Mass Media Communications and that was a mantra.

THE BEST WRITING IS RE-WRITING

And I've always remembered it and it helps me get through that first draft and enjoy the revision process because I know I'm making it better.

Mary Connealy said...

I am surprisingly close to my goal.
I doubt I'll make it because this weekend will be hectic. If I could get in a 1000 words Friday, Saturday, Sunday, I'd be real close to THE END of this novella, but those days won't be work days. Lots of family around on Easter. YAY!

Glynna Kaye said...

Oh, my goodness, KATHY! Gall bladder surgery! Now that IS trying to put a positive spin on things--the sign of a woman in desperate need of writing time.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, MARY! That's a good take-away from your journalism background. Helps you not to get too attached to your original words and know that you can always make it better

Connie Queen said...

KAYBEE,

LOL. No smiling? What kind of stories do you write? Suspense?

My first draft overflows w/blah and overused descriptions.

And my favorite...
he gritted his teeth.
If my story was real, my hero would be in need of a good dentist.

Glynna Kaye said...

Well, I have to step out for a bit. Will try to get back in a few hours.

Best wishes for a productive Speedbo output today!

kaybee said...

CONNIE QUEEN love the dentist quip.
My people don't smile because they are clinically depressed that I'm the one writing about them.

DebH said...

First off: huge congrats to Missy and Piper (missed Seekerville yesterday, am catching up).

Second: great post. I write only to rewrite is a great sentence to remember. worth the price of admission for today.

my Speedbo numbers are abysmal, but I am getting a couple of lines down per day. Slowly training the toddler to give mommy a few moments of "'puter time" before he gets mommy's full focus. *sigh* i won't possibly meet my Speedbo goal, even if I extend in my own little world - but I have made tiny progress. Moving forward, however miniscule is still moving forward, right?

still such a wanna be...

Thank the Lord for Seekerville for all the encouragement and wisdom.

CatMom said...

Wonderful post, Glynna---thanks sooo much! ~ Took a quick baking break and whipped up another Georgia Peach cobbler--added extra cinnamon and sugar (for energy, LOL). Anyone who needs a sweet snack, please help yourself! Must get these last 9k words in!
Hugs, Patti Jo

Marianne Barkman said...

Sitting on the deck in perfect weather this morning. I have to take advantage of every sunny day because, sadly we head on home to colder weather (Alberta) on April 8. But we are so thankful we could even come, though its only for 6 weeks instead of the usual 5 months. And, we get to see Seekerville Sandra. Highlight of the winter.
Ruth, where are you again?

mitziUNDERSCOREwanhamAYyahooDOTcom

Connie Queen said...

Kaybee, Ha. Ha. I doubt they're depressed.

DebH. I've been there so many times. If you're still writing, you're not a wanna be...one of these days you'll look up and your toddler will be in school and you'll be glad you didn't spend all your time on the "puter".

Jan Drexler said...

Good morning, Glynna!

Thanks for the encouragement. I hit that wall last week...the one where I really couldn't find my story in all those words I was writing.

So I took a day and stepped back, used the corkboard on Scrivener to lay out the chapters I have so far, and found out I really wasn't very far off track at all.

Now to get back to adding more words....

Melanie Pike said...

Great tips! Thank you, Glynna :) Going to have to print this one out (as well as many others)...

Before Speedbo, I used to edit as I went along, not understanding how anyone could do otherwise. Well...I hadn't written in a long time (fear, plus numerous excuses that I've been trying to shut down), so I plucked out a novel I'd written about 24 years ago and decided that I would rework it (since I wasn't saved until late 2003, that meant a lot of different thinking would go into it!). Guess I got past the point of worrying about editing-as-I-write because I even lost track of chapter numbers and have been writing "Chapter SOMETHING" instead of taking time to figure out where I am! ;-)

It's going to need a TON of revising, but that's okay because Speedbo has helped me rediscover my love of writing!

Please toss my name into the hat (or cat dish or whatever you use!) for the opportunity to win one of your books (I'll have to see which ones I already own...). Thanks!

Blessings,
Melanie

Mary Connealy said...

Ruthy used a CAT DISH. Everyone else uses a STETSON (as is normal)

Myra Johnson said...

Wow, what a comprehensive post on the art of rewriting, Glynna! This is worthy to be printed out and referred to often!

MELANIE! If Speedbo helped you recapture your love of writing, that's reward in and of itself! Personally, I enjoy the challenge of digging up an old manuscript to see what improvements I could make. Sometimes it's worth the effort . . . sometimes not so much. But it's always an eye-opening experience, even if it only helps me appreciate how far my writing skills have advanced over the years.

Debby Giusti said...

Glynna, great post! Love the pic of smiling you! Let's all head for warm weather. GA has been frigid for the last few days. Guess it's been the entire USA.

Love the comment: I write to rewrite! I'm taking that as my mantra, as Mary C. mentioned.

Feeling a little discouraged with my word count today, but the fam will be here for Easter so the weekend will be wonderful! Lots of little bunny eggs rolling around the house, no doubt. :)

Donna said...

Thank you, Glynna! You packed so much into this post, but it's not overwhelming. A nice little check list to keep beside us as we write.

Bells went off in my head (in a good way) as I read a few of your reminders. The antagonist's scene I wrote yesterday had an awful lot of telling, now that I think about it. Giving myself permission to tweak a paragraph or two. : )

Piper Huguley said...

Glynna,

Great post, thank you for your great advice. I love your picture too! Thank you for the well wishes!

Thanks Deb H for your congrats. Enjoy your little one. They grow up so fast!

Thanks for the congrats, Patty Jo and the cobbler. Are you coming to RWA in Atlanta? *mumbles around the crumbly buttery crust and the juicy peaches of the cobbler*

Piper

Piper Huguley said...

Helen,

I didn't see until today, but thank you for your congrats! And the doughnuts! *helps self to a maple bar sprinkled with crispy bacon bits*

Piper

Playground Monitor said...

OMG what a timely post! I typed "The End" yesterday but I know that's really just the beginning. I'm taking a couple days off from the mess... er... manuscript and then I'll go back to it. I know the pacing is off because it was begun as a 55K novel in 2011 and I picked it up again March 1 and completed it as a novella. I am beyond sure I've done too much telling and not enough showing. And I'm also beyond sure all the other points pertain to me too.

Meanwhile, I received my SpeedBo Survival Pack yesterday and thank you, thank you, thank you. I shared the Lindor Truffles with a co-worker and the moan of delight from her office when she ate one told the whole story. *grin*

Marilyn

Kim Kendall said...

Loved this! I Write to Rewrite will now be made into a poster and placed in front of my field of vision! What a good encouragement to keep at it even when I know it is lacking! I'm always aware that I'm leaving out some layer or another, but it seems impossible to get it all on the first write-through.

I'd love any of the prizes and would be overjoyed to win something.

This has been a good month for my writing, so bravo to whoever came up with this nifty idea in the first place.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, DebH! Tiny progess is nevertheless PROGRESS! There are some days with all that's going on that if I get 200 words written I still mark it on my WIP tracking spreadsheet. You need to celebrate every single step forward!

Glynna Kaye said...

Greeting Patti Jo! A Georgia Peach cobbler? Now THAT is a pause I could really enjoy! Good luck on your last 9K!!

Glynna Kaye said...

MARIANNE--I've LOVE to go somewhere warmer for 6 weeks in the winter! Where did you see Sandra? How did I miss that?

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, JAN! I'm glad that when you stepped back you surprised yourself being more on target that you'd thought. Sometimes when we're in the middle of a book we FEEL like we've lost our way, that we're far, from from shore with no land in sight!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, MELANIE! I was just listening to an ACFW CD in my car today about that very thing--taking an older manuscript and breathing new life into it. Sounds like you really got "in the zone" with the rework. Don't you just love it when all of a sudden you realize 'hey! HOURS have gone by!' I'm so happy Speedbo has helped you fall in love with writing again!

Glynna Kaye said...

Yeah, Mary, I prefer the Stetson as well. Forget the CAT DISH!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good afternoon, Myra! I have a few old manuscripts myself--definitely would take a LOT of rework as they are 1st person POV, chick lit voice romantic mysteries. And a couple of 1800's historicals I started when I was in college. Did tons of research--who knows, maybe I can make use of that someday!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, Debby! An early Easter will probably make a number of Speedbo-er's word counts flounder a bit with church events and family arriving. But I figure it won't hurt for Speedbo to roll over into April a bit!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, DONNA! I probably got in just about everything but the kitchen sink into that post. LOL! Believe it or not, I actually CUT stuff to make it more manageable! "Telling" is pefectly acceptable in the Speedbo race toward word count. Lots of times I will type in red (and highlight in yellow) little notes to myself in the middle of the manuscript ("elaborate on this," "research this," "Is this the right word?" "Need more dialogue." "More description here.") That way I can keep on going.

Jackie Smith said...

I enjoyed your post, Glynna, although I am not a writer. I do love your books so please put my name in the cat dish/Stetson or whatever!! lol Thanks!
Jackie Smith
jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, PIPER! Are you still floating on air today?? Those few days in The Valley of the Sun where that photo was taken were SO relaxing--a nice break from cold mountain weather. Seeker Tina is going to get MAJORLY spoiled!

Glynna Kaye said...

Congrats on "The End," MARILYN! Doesn't that feel the greatest? Definitely do take a few days off to catch your breath (and enjoy those Lindor truffles!). Keep a piece of paper & a pen close by, though, as I always find that when I'm finished additional ideas pop up that I want to make sure to go back and address as it's so easy for me to forget them if I don't write them down.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, KIM! I think for 99.99999% of writers getting all this stuff into the first draft is impossible. I'm so happy this had been a good month for your writing! I think the Speedbo idea likely belongs to our super star TINA!

Glynna Kaye said...

Waving to JACKIE! We'll get your name dropped into the STETSON! :)

Lyndee H said...

Yay, Marilyn, for typing The End. And Yay for everyone still hanging in there!

Glynna, great post and I will go back to it on April 1, since I will need up to midnight on March 31 to see if I can make it. I'm close, but the story is closer. I know that I'm going to finish short, about 8,000 words, but will gain length when I go back to fill out the scenes. So far, there's only one scene that seemed sleepy, but a bigger issue is the story motivation changed. Dramatically. I'm looking forward to getting back to the beginning to shore up the front and pull it together. It's been a lot of fun. I am very excited to (very soon) have another completed manuscript.

Cara Lynn James said...

Glynna, I've also learned that re-writing is more important than writing. My first drafts are terrible, but I don't toss them across the room anymore! I try to make them better.

Jamie Adams said...

Great post Glynna! I'll be referring back to this one. I write to rewrite. So true. It's a good thing I love to write.

Chill N said...

Great 'checklist' for the finished manuscript (currently resting) I plan to edit (or is that rewrite?) after Speedbo. Now to go print this and add it to the Seekerville notebook. And then, read comments ...

Thanks for a super helpful post, Glynna!

Nancy C

Natalie Monk said...

Timely post, Glynna!

I'm debating whether to print off the first draft, so I can quickly note needed revisions without bogging down, or to wait until a later draft when most of the obvious revisions are made.

At what point do you usually print everything out and get out the red pen? Or is this done several times throughout the editing process? I've never done macro editing and I'm a little skittish of starting. :)

Sherida Stewart said...

My Speedbo word count is moving along, but I will need to REWRITE. (I was *hoping* all would be perfect when I wrote "The End"...(Congrats to Marilyn, Carol and others who have written those two words.)

So, thank you, Glynna, for the suggestion to pause before I start the rewriting. I'll go down your checklist slowly (I have MANY points to fix) and ENJOY the rewriting!

Please put my name in the Stetson or cat dish. :) Now I'll grab some donuts and peach cobbler, with lots of extra coffee, and head back to writing. Thanks, Seekerville!

Elaine Manders said...

OMD (Oh, My Darling) talk about a Black Moment, not in the writing, but in the story. It came as I was on the treadmill walking off that peach cobbler. I don't usually like to write ahead of myself, but my H&H are in such a mess only God can save them--and He does. I'm going to get this scene down now.

I don't like rewrites (editing is OK) but Glynna you have such good advice, I'm going to print it out for later use.

Kathy, I had the gall bladder removed. Just three punctures, outpatient. Amazing. Make sure you have plenty of pain meds.

Donna said...

Glynna, I'm taking your advice. I'm making notes and highlighting instead of fixing!
I would have found ten other things to fix if you hadn't talked me down, lol!

I write to rewrite (later).

And please put me in the drawing!

Jenny Blake said...

i paused in the last few days to re evaluate a few things myself but not writing more personal perceptions and know that some of them are so far from reality but still not sure how to completely change the perceptions.
decided to take a step back, and reassess.
So pausing can be good for many situations.

Playground Monitor said...

"Keep a piece of paper & a pen close by, though, as I always find that when I'm finished additional ideas pop up that I want to make sure to go back and address as it's so easy for me to forget them if I don't write them down."

I'm ahead of you there. Last night I was watching TV and something clicked in the ole noggin. I now have a Jr. legal pad with two pages of notes about things to address.

As I said -- The End really isn't the end.

Marilyn

Carol Moncado said...

Natalie -

Keep in mind, I'm not published or agented yet ;).

But I print off at least two copies. Usually I do a readthrough on the computer and fix what I notice there. Make notes on where I need major additions [like when I have a 70K rough draft and need a final draft of 80-85K].

Then I do a macro find/replace to highlight weasel words etc. Then I print it off and read through again, getting rid of the words I can through reworking sentences etc. Not all of them will go away, but some will.

Then I put the edits onto the screen [working backwards, especially if I have major additions or subtractions - that way the page numbers on my hard copy match the page numbers in my file because the changes will be after I'm working - if that makes sense - I got the idea from a Seeker blog - can someone else explain it better?]

Sometimes I reread again. Other times, I go ahead and print another copy - this one usually without the highlights unless there were lots of MAJOR issues with it or huge additions.

When I'm pretty sure it's as good as I can get it on my own, I email it to my critters and give a hard copy to my BFF. For a non-author, she's FABULOUS at catching stuff, especially my stupid passive voice. I usually read through it after she does, making more notes based on my critters and so on. Hopefully, it's pretty clean by that point anyway and most of the notes are smiley faces ;).

Anyway - that's how I do it. If that copy from my BFF/critters is a hot mess I may print it again. Just depends. I have a laser printer so I can get toner for about $12/4K-6K pages. Every 12-20K pages, I have to replace the drum for about 20 bucks. So I don't stress too much about printing. :D

Just me. Your mileage [and everyone else's] may vary!!! :D

Natalie Monk said...

Thanks, Carol!

And I get what you're saying about working backwards so the page #s match. That's a great idea!

My problem is, I've got a 50k historical. It has several threads, and is pretty well paced as far as major turning points go, but I'm hoping I get it to publishable novel length when I go back through and check the GMC for each scene. I keep hearing about making large cuts to a ms, but I never thought I'd have to add MORE. lol. I guess I took the phrase "economy of words" literally this time around! Thanks so much for the help! :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hi Speedboers!!!

Only four days left. EGADS!!


Have you also made a meal stop at the Yankee Belle?

Double Yum today with Captain Wentworth and Oven Burritos!

SERIOUS YUM

Christina Rich said...

Great tips! Thank you, Glynna. I tend to want to know many of those things before I start writing. It drives me insane when I can't. Like hitting a brick wall a hundred times over.

Jessica Nelson said...

Great tips!! I love them. I've been bad with my writing but this makes me want to finish up. :-)

Audra Harders said...

Glynna, great recapping of all the elements we need to check and double check! I guess that's what layering is all about.

Thanks for chunking all the parts into bite size pieces. I'm printing this off and keeping it close while revising my Speedbo chapters.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, LYNDEE! Boy oh boy -- midnight! You ARE determined to make your word count! Congrats on the soon-to-be-completed manuscript! All sorts of wonderful things happening here in Seekerville this month!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, CARA! The night is still young out West, but it's almost 10 in your part of the country. 3 hours is a LONG gap when AZ doesn't go on Daylight time! I'm glad you don't toss your drafted manuscripts across the room now--just think of all the wonderful stories we'd be missing!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello,JAMIE! Glad you found the post a useful one! I think knowing that I write only to rewrite takes a LOT of pressure off me so I don't feel like I have to labor over each and every word in the first draft.

Walt Mussell said...

Glynna, I'm always up for one of your books.

As for my SpeedBo goal, the plodding continues. The one question I do have though is that I thought of the perfect scene for one of my Japan books and I'm not working on that WIP at the moment. What do I do with the perfect scene? Do I write it out and insert it later when I pick up that WIP again?

Glynna Kaye said...

Congrats on the finished manuscript, NANCY! That's such a wonderful feeling when you type THE END! :)

Walt Mussell said...

And my writing is shallow, but I am getting words on the page.

Glynna Kaye said...

NATALIE--Because I write on proposal (first 3 chapters and a synopsis), those first three chapters have been redlined multiple times before I submit them. For the rest of it, sometimes I wait until the book is done. Other times I do it in chunks of several chapters at a time as I go, depending on how much "free" time I have. I usually don't redline in my "prime time" writing hours (4:30-6:30 a.m.) which I try to reserve for adding word count. But if I have some extra time in the evening (and still have some energy) I might grab a couple of chapters for redlining. (I'm one of those people who likes to print things out and read them out loud.) Then at the end I'll print the whole thing and read it thru from beginning to end.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, SHERINDA! I'm glad to hear your Speedbo word count is still accumulating! I wish I had more time when I finish a book to set it aside for a week or two, but it takes me so long to write one in little snatches of time each day that I'm usually rushing right up to my deadline. As I learn to write faster, though, I'm hoping I'll be able to gain a little more wiggle room for such as that.

Glynna Kaye said...

ELAINE--When great ideas come out of nowhere like that, even if it's out of sequence, DO write it down! It's amazing how quickly we forget the solutions to story 'riddles'if we don't quickly record them, even if just in bulletpoints that we know we can flesh out later. I'm glad you found the post helpful!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi again, DONNA! Whew! Glad you were talked out of fixing things right in the middle of Speedbo! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

JENNY!!!! You're so right. In just about everything in life--not just story writing--it's often wise to periodically take a breather, step back and prayerfully seek a fresh perspective. We get thinking and doing things so often out of habit,in a rut, and it's good to re-evaluate.

Glynna Kaye said...

MARILYN -- Yep, you were ahead of me! :) My favorite writing instruments are a black Papermate Profile pen and a thick pad of lineless, news print paper like you can get at the Dollar Store (9 x 12) -- 'doodle' or 'scribble' pads for kids. The ink just flows across the page and that's what I often use when I get stuck and need to have a little creative freedom. Sometimes in the evening when I'm too tired to sit down at the computer I'll start writing in the scribble pad and it seems to jar things loose. Then the next day I can use my brainstorming notes and snatches of dialogue to get myself rolling more quickly when I do set down at the computer for a few hiurs before work.

Glynna Kaye said...

CAROL -- I do a lot of read-thru's, too. And I have a list of words and phrases that I do a computer search on before the final redlning starts so I can target them for deletion or replacement or rephrasing. Targeting the overused words can sometimes free up quite a bit of word count to make better use of!

Glynna Kaye said...

NATALIE -- Love Inspired contemporaries are 55-60K words and my final manuscripts are always 60K. So in my first draft I shoot for between 50-55K before I "call it good," knowing that will give me plenty of wiggle room to layer and elaborate in he rewrite stage.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, TINA! I'll have to pop over to the Yankee Belle and check out the menu--wish, though, that there was some way of ordering TAKE OUT from there! Wouldn't THAT be sweet?

Glynna Kaye said...

CHRISTINA -- I try to 'map out' most of those things in advance, too, but once I'm out in the muddled middle, far from the shore, I can get a bit off track. So periodically I have to use a mental checklist to make sure I'm not wandering TOO far off target! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

JESSICA -- It's never too late to get back on track. Make APRIL your own personal Speedbo! That's what I plan to do.

Carol Moncado said...

Glynna -

Melissa Jagears has a blog about how to set up Word to do it with one click [or five as I use 5 different colors for different kinds of words]. We did a workshop on it at our local meeting :D.

Glynna Kaye said...

AUDRA! Good to "see" you tonight! It's that layering that can really enrich a story, isn't it!? Flesh it out and make it come alive!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi there, WALT! If you have a perfect scene for another book running thru your head, I'd definitely take a few minutes to type it up in skeleton form or write it down someplace where you'll find it later so the vividness of the scene doesn't evaporate into thin air. I've had that happen, too (sometimes when on deadline for another book) and if nothing else I write down "the heart" of it in a few paragraphs or in bulletpoints that will jog my memory later. While you don't want to get lured away from your current WIP, good scene ideas are too precious to risk losing!

Glynna Kaye said...

CAROL -- I'll have to check out Melissa J's blog! I love learning new Word tricks! Thanks for the tip!

Glynna Kaye said...

Well, things seem to be quieting down for the evening. I'm wishing you all the VERY BEST as you head toward your final days of Speedbo. (Have you ever had a month go by so QUICKLY!? I can't believe March is coming to an end!)

Just keep reminding yourself: I WRITE ONLY TO REWRITE! :)

Natalie Monk said...

Thanks Glynna! I'll plan on reading the ms aloud after I get those final words in there. I've heard several authors swear by this, so there must be something to it! :)

Carol Moncado said...

Hey! I found it!

Get Word to Highlight Your Weasel Word List with One Button Click.

And her Weasel Word List.

Mary Preston said...

Wonderful thank you!!

I'd love to win one of your books thanks.

Glynna Kaye said...

Thank your for the link, Carol!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, Mary P! Thanks for stopping by! We'll throw your name in the hat!

Glynna Kaye said...

Thank your for the link, Carol!

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, Glynna, what a goldmine this is!!

Sorry I'm late, but I was actually catching up on Speedbo after multiple life interruptions that kept me from writing most of last week, so I slammed yesterday and did catch up ... somewhat!!

If ever there was a printer-offer, THIS is it, my friend -- excellent post that has already given me some good ideas for my current WIP.

Hugs,
Julie

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, Julie! I'm glad you're catching up on your Speedbo word count. I'm going to be putting in some overtime hours in April on mine as well!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Glynna, Great article. I am close to my Speedbo goal because something got canceled!

Glynna Kaye said...

Wonderful, Carrie! I hope you reach your Speedbo goal!