Why it’s a Miracle that I Ever Finish Anything

I’m halfway through the final edit of Gift of the Ancien and have been opening it every day for a week or more, and closing it again without even looking at it. It’s time to face reality. I can’t stand the sight of that book right now, and there’s no point driving myself crazy with it. So it’s back to The Warden for a while.

I’ve done four chapters so far today, and even though I don’t expect to finish this draft before November rolls around, it feels good to be working on it again. Enough time has elapsed since I last tackled it, that I have a much clearer vision of what changes need to be made and how to write the ending. Getting far, far away for a while really does make a huge difference.

As usual, a lot of what it needs is fleshing out, more detail, and replacing words that just lie there on the page with words that actually do something. “Looks” gives way to “glares,” “gazes,” “stares,” or whatever will help convey a relevant emotion. Maybe it’s just old age creeping up, but sometimes I feel as if my vocabulary is deteriorating. The thesaurus is my helping hand. Not to find five-dollar words, but to remind me of alternates that my memory can’t seem to dredge up.

39 days more and I’ll have one more WIP to add to the pile.

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2 thoughts on “Why it’s a Miracle that I Ever Finish Anything

  1. That bit about “looks” giving way to “glares,” “gazes,” “stares,” and so on, sure rings true for me, Catana. Sometimes, when I go back for an edit, I can’t believe what I used in the draft. I’ve noticed that deftness with words drops off steeply as a writing session lengthens out. Do you deliberately skip the more refined vocabulary in a draft or fade out as I do?

    • It depends, Thomas. During NaNo, I’m concentrating on getting the story written, so there isn’t much time to fiddle with vocabulary. Which makes for some amazing WTF moments when I read the complete first draft. But that’s all pretty easy to correct, really. The rest of the year, I edit as I go, but I’m still concentrating on plot and characterization, so it’s easy to miss the blah words and the repetitions. I’d guess I usually wind up doing about four to five drafts, so a little more gets smoothed out with each run through.

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