Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Modus Operandi

So as you know, I've been in hard editing mode for the past seven, almost eight months. Editing mode requires a unique way of thinking and acting. It requires scrutiny, cynicism, "murdering your darlings!"

Well I've decided to start working on a new novel. You may remember, the "shiny" one I thought of lo these many months ago.

I'm finding that in order to succeed, I'll have to shift my entire method of approach. The method that I have been so careful to hone in recent months is no longer going to help me. It's time to put it away. For now. It's time to switch into first draft mode.

Happy, laughing, frolicking first draft mode.

Seriously though, I'm worried that if I don't switch gears I won't make it past the first paragraph. In fact, I've already tried to start and literally could not write a single word. Scares me, folks.

So how do you get back in the groove? How do you let yourself write freely again?

13 comments:

Candice said...

I have no idea! It's so hard to let those inhibitions go and just write. I'll wait alongside you to hear what others have to say and then I'll try and apply it in my own writing life.

It's so excited that you're starting your shiny new idea. I can't wait to find out more about it!

Patti said...

I did that in September. Went from editing mode to first draft. It was hard at first. I over analyzed every thing. I got through chapter 1 & 2 and by chapter 3 I was flying. I just kept saying, better to write crap than nothing at all.

Does this mean your done your edits?

Renee Collins said...

Candice-No kidding! I hope people have some good ideas for me. :)

Also, I hope to be posting a little more about shiny soon. Though, admittedly, it was much more shiny three months ago. Such is the way it goes, I guess. :)

Patti-Good advice! Better to write crap than nothing.

And yes, I think I am actually, finally finished with revisions (for now . . .) :)

Natalie Whipple said...

Honestly, it takes a little time. At least for me. After ninja edits, I had a rough time getting into any other project. They all weren't good enough.

But that feeling waned with time. I forced myself to pick a project. And eventually I got the groove back.

Becca said...

Buy a 50 cent spiral notebook and begin a "picture" story...like you used to back in the day....
Draw all of your characters...
Draw their houses...their pets....their clothes...their cars...
Draw everything...then show Diana and explain all about it ;) j/k

Cheers!! And Hurrah for a much needed refreshing change of pace :)

sraasch said...

When you find out, let me know. My process has been to write whatever scene Max pops up into my head and go with the flow. No pressure, no hounding him for an outline. Just a vague idea of where the story's going and a lot, lot, LOT of patience. I think it's working so far.

Kasie West said...

I was basically going to say what Natalie said. It just takes time and forcing yourself into writing "badly" (or at least what you feel is bad for the first little while). After a time, you'll get back into the groove. Just tell yourself it's okay for the first draft to suck. In fact, the first draft is just like an in depth outline. It generally works for me. Good luck. :) Oh, can't wait to see you next week. eeeeeh.

Jessie Oliveros said...

You and Kasie get to see each other next week? I'm jealous. Maybe you could stop in Kansas because I'm sure it's on your way. I'm still rewriting my book so I have nothing helpful to offer. At the SCBWI writer's conference the keynote speaker said that the rough draft is like a block of clay from which to sculpt your work of genius from. I thought "Really, can't it at least be the ROUGH form of the sculpture it will one day be?" See, I had not yet written a first draft. Now, I still think he is wrong. First drafts aren't even a block of clay. More like a lump of clay, shapeless, in its roughest form and oh so ugly. Um...at least mine is.

Hayley said...

I wish I knew, I just kind of step back, eat chocolate, and literally don't write for a few days. Read, losts of reading, and then I think it gets me back into the mode.

Natalie said...

So I just went through this. I hadn't written a first draft in almost a year when I started this one for NaNo. It was a little scary to start again but I made myself sit down and write even though it was intimidating. Good luck Renee! It does feel good to get going on a new story after so many months with one manuscript. I hope it's a great time for you!

Miriam S.Forster said...

I think for me, I just have to get started again--set a word count and try to get there every day. (This year, I'm using Nano to transition between editing and writing.)

I do find the more often you do move between those two states, the easier it is...

Renee Collins said...

Natalie- Yeah, I think that's what I'm going to have to do. Just force myself. :)

Becca-Brilliant plan!! I'm so doing it! ;)

Sara-Wise, I think. Just being patient is the key.

Kasie-"The first draft is just an extended outline." I like that!

Can't wait to see you either!!

Jessie-lol, yes, I feel the same way about my first draft.

And truly, we need to organize another writer's retreat. One that we can all attend. Even if it's just a day.

Renee Collins said...

Hayley-hehe, yes chocolate always helps. And actually, reading does for me as well. It gets my creative juices flowing.

Natalie-Yes, I'm definitely looking forward to starting something new. As much as I love Searcher, I'm kind of sick of it. :)

Miriam-This is why I wish I would have done NaNo. It could have forced me to just get something out. Hmm, maybe I'll NaNo my way through January or something.