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The Craft > How do you know when you're backed-up with revisions?

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message 1: by T.J. (new)

T.J. Brearton (tjbrearton) | 4 comments At the moment I have 5 manuscripts in the revision pile, and I'm rough-drafting 1. Is this normal? Do I need a literary enema? I'd love to hear you thoughts, fellow authors.


message 2: by Judy (last edited Apr 25, 2014 07:12AM) (new)

Judy Kelly | 16 comments Hi T.J.
I usually work on one at a time whenever I have more than one story. For me, I have to think about what I've written before and after I've written it, especially when I get to my "final revision." I need to feel good about what I've just written, to feel like what I have written is what I want to communicate to the reader and my story has a smooth flow.


message 3: by Charles (new)

Charles Garard (goodreadscomcharles_garard) | 142 comments Me Too, Pal. Too many ideas and experiences. Sometimes I think there is no such thing as a final revision. I should not go back and re-read what I've already written but go on.

I have three ebooks "published" and have a few more in the stacks. A couple, based on my experiences in China, I don't know what to do with. Sometimes I can't even decide on the genre. If you saw the last Academy Awards show, remember what Robert DeNiro said about writers. It is true.


message 4: by T.J. (new)

T.J. Brearton (tjbrearton) | 4 comments Charles wrote: "Me Too, Pal. Too many ideas and experiences. Sometimes I think there is no such thing as a final revision. I should not go back and re-read what I've already written but go on.

I have three ebook..."


Haha - no - I didn't see/hear what he said about writers. What was it?


message 5: by T.J. (last edited Apr 25, 2014 05:29PM) (new)

T.J. Brearton (tjbrearton) | 4 comments Judy wrote: "Hi T.J.
I usually work on one at a time whenever I have more than one story. For me, I have to think about what I've written before and after I've written it, especially when I get to my "final r..."


Thanks, Judy. I appreciate the input!


message 6: by Charles (new)

Charles Garard (goodreadscomcharles_garard) | 142 comments One comment DeNiro made was that writers were self-loathing. I thought that it was a bit strong, but I agree with the fact that we are often insecure.

But . . . where would movies be without writers to write them? This point was made clear to me in graduate school by a screenwriting professor. Where would publishers or any of these ebook networks be without us. Your philosophy about writing is spot on (as the Brits say). Your story should communicate something to the reader and have a smooth flow.


message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 122 comments The self-loathing thing might be something I can understand... I want to experience my life from a participant viewpoint, not the viewpoint of someone mining experience for "content". It can be very hard to know when to stop taking notes. I also don;t enjoy re-assembling my own experiences into phrases a reader could better enjoy, for the purpose of finishing a chapter. The separation of the two is critical to my own sanity, and I'll bet other writers' sanity, too.


message 8: by Charles (new)

Charles Garard (goodreadscomcharles_garard) | 142 comments Noted. Well-stated.

It can be hard to know when to stop taking notes, and when our experiences must be re-assembled for readers, which, in some cases, involves dumbing down.

I read not long ago that memories involve an act of creating. As Fellini points out in his film 8 1/2, where are memories dreams, and the other way around?


message 9: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 122 comments Exactly. Do we live our lives, or do we contrive them for their usefulness? Adding dreams in, it gets so murky I can't wade through it! ;)


message 10: by Charles (new)

Charles Garard (goodreadscomcharles_garard) | 142 comments My experiences are useful in my writing, but the memories are not often pleasant. Some of my memories of what I said or did are quite painful and create a lot of guilt. Maybe writing them down helps us to objectify them.

About dreams, I meant that what we create is often a form of dreams ... and sometimes we cannot separate dreams from memory. My mother used to ask me why I made up things from the past that didn't happen? She also told this to my sister. So did I create what I remember as happening, or did it actually happen and she is in denial?

Anyway, good points you made to start this string.

Cheers.


message 11: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Miklos | 2 comments In German there is the concept of "Lebensluege" - life-lie. It allows us to live despite guilt and shame. They can even be collective - as witnessed in all countries recovering from war. When writers tackle that issue, they can face serious resistance and it can go as far as persecution, jail, death for the author and banning or destruction of the books. In the case of tackling a collective - I think it is essential to have all the facts right. One really can't do too much research when dealing with fact as fiction.


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 122 comments Johanna -- Peter Mattheissen's last book, In Paradise deals with that in a really effective way. Check it out.


message 13: by T.J. (new)

T.J. Brearton (tjbrearton) | 4 comments Johanna wrote: "In German there is the concept of "Lebensluege" - life-lie. It allows us to live despite guilt and shame. They can even be collective - as witnessed in all countries recovering from war. When wr..."

Johanna - I don't know who you are, or what prompted you to write this, exactly, but I feel like you have somehow looked right into my life, and into what I'm working on at this very moment. Amazing. (And a little scary.) :)


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