Question of the Week: 9/4/16

<–Question of the Week: 8/28/16          Question of the Week: 9/11/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What’s your writing/editing process?

Note:  I actually recorded this particular post and was going to put the audio file here; however, you need to have either a premium or business style WordPress in order to do such without a third party.  This is not out of the realm of future possibility as I’d love a way to upload audio and video files without being forced to use a site like YouTube if I don’t want/have to.

I was having a discussion with the lovely LightningNightNova about this in a comment thread and thought it would make an excellent QOTW.

So with hand written stories I’ll write my bit for the day then the next day, I read through what I wrote prior to put myself back in the mien of the story before continuing on, making minor edits on the page as I go.  When it’s time to put the story into Word, I do the exact same thing.  As I type it up, I’ll do some editing, additions, and any necessary deletions as I go along using the hand written copy as a base.  The next session, I read back through what’s been typed up prior, making more edits as necessary before continuing the thread of the story.  Once everything is in Word I go back to the beginning of the work and do a full and comprehensive edit.  This process may happen quite a few times even though by the time I get to that point, the story has been edited quite a bit.

The Serpent’s Tale was written with such a method.  The last two stories, Northern Lights and The Broken Rose were written entirely on Word with no physical writing done at all.  While these were fanfictions, that has no bearing on the method.  I decided to try it with NL, and mistakenly thought that TBR would be a short tale instead of the longest I’d ever drafted.  My short story Threads of Sorrow was written entirely on Word, too.  That method is similar to the handwritten one; it’s just missing that step.  Using notes and outlines I write up to a certain point on Word, and the next day read through the prior writing before continuing.  When the story’s completed I do the comprehensive edit (which is going on right now with TBR), with any additions, changes, and deletions happening during that time (I’m currently working on one of those additions right now as I’m drafting an additional early chapter).

While you’d think cutting out the hand writing would make story drafting faster, it actually doesn’t.  The Serpent’s Tale took me two years to write and edit the first time (it needs to be edited again, but that’s another story…) and so did Northern Lights.  I was over a year in the writing on The Broken Rose (understandably since it was approximately 250k words), and it will probably take me more than that to fully edit it.

I much prefer the handwritten method (which I discuss more here), because I like having that physical base/foundation to fall back to in case something happens.  I have lost work before.on TST and others that unfortunately weren’t handwritten, stories I’ll never get back.  Plus I always have this persistent fear that I’ll sit down to write and nothing will come. This worry is far more profound when I’m in front of a computer screen than when I see a blank journal page.  The latter seems more of an invitation to write.  I intend to draft my next story by hand, and there’s actually some evidence to support this method.  I’m not the only one who’d noticed it’s not a detriment to time, and it has some other advantages, as well.

For essays and articles those are all written on Word or directly on WordPress with the help of notes.  I’m okay writing shorter things without the benefit of a physical copy, but for longer stories, I prefer handwritten.

I probably edit everything I write at least five times before I’ll ever allow anyone else to see it.  It’s a pride thing for me I guess, because I always want to present my best face, and I absolutely abhor finding a silly error in something I’ve edited numerous times.


What’s your writing/editing method?  Do you hand write first?  Do you do small edits as you go along or save them until you’ve finished drafting the entire work?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 8/28/16          Question of the Week: 9/11/16–>

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7 thoughts on “Question of the Week: 9/4/16

  1. Thanks for the mention!

    I tried handwriting my story, but I sadly discovered that the modern computer age has ruined my manual skills. My printing is now illegible, and my hand kept cramping up. I also desperately missed the almighty spellcheck function. I’m not going to let Word tell me how to ‘word’ things though. It can underline my horrible grammar with green/blue lines all it wants. I refuse to comply, lol

    I am extremely paranoid about losing my work in the digital void though. To ease my concerns, I started hammering out a chapter, doing a quick edit on it, and then printing out a physical copy of it. I also have a fancy binder to put it in that makes it feel special, haha. If/when I finish, I plan to edit the physical copy by hand, and then maybe more editing as I type the changes into rev 2 on Word. If I pass that stage, I will decide if I want to pursue the almost impossible dream of getting it published, throw it up online for anyone who wants to read it, or pretend it never happened.

    I just did a word count on mine and I was shocked to see its at 150k+ words over 13 Chapters so far. Wow, the words sure do add up fast when its something I enjoy doing. I remember feeling overwhelmed in school when a teacher demanded a 1k word essay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think my handwriting has always been abysmal, and it literally hurts my hand to do so. Plus my brain works faster than my fingers sometimes, which makes it even more slipshod and scrawling. I think what I like most about handwriting is that it’s a physical copy that no computer issue can ever destroy, but what I do now is email myself every day as a backup. I have folders full of emails for both Northern Lights and The Broken Rose just in case something happened to the computer copy.

      I made a print copy of NL and gave it to one of my friends! I was going to give it to another person, but we had a falling out prior to that happening, so it went to the only friend IRL who’d actually read it since she expressed interest in having a physical copy. I’m planning a post about that process. I’d love to make another copy for myself. It wasn’t overly expensive, but I’d have to buy another colored printer cartridge.

      150k words is a great count! I look at it like this. Even if you never decide to submit it for publishing or throw it up online, you still wrote you. You still accomplished that, and it’s something to be proud of 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My writing hand can’t keep up with my racing thoughts either. Email is a really good idea.

        Yep, falling outs really suck! I would really like to read about the physical copy process. Honestly, it’s cheaper to buy a new printer instead of ink these days, lol

        Thanks! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We wound up reconciling, and it honestly turned out perfect for my IRL friend.

        I have that post on my schedule for today BUT I have two other things there, too, so we shall see. At the very least it should be up by the end of this week.

        Email is a lifesaver. Since I’ve started doing it though I haven’t needed it unless I have to revert to an earlier form of the story because I edited out something I decided I needed later.

        Liked by 1 person

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