Monday, April 16, 2012

Just When I Thought I Had It


So, I just finished working through a massive rewrite of my novel. *fist pump* I reached the end and felt like I'd made some freaking brilliant changes. Thank you beta reader!! You know who you are. ;)

"Look out, publishers. Here I come!" :)

The problem with revisions is as soon as you complete one, you’re about to start the next. I went back to the first chapter to tighten, clarify, and look for inconsistencies throughout the novel. What I read caught me off guard.

*Stella face-plants onto the floor*

There is quite an inconsistency in voice and style from the beginning of the novel and the end. It made me realize my writing style really evolved over the rewrite. While it's a good sign that my style has changed it means more work in the upcoming revisions than I'd anticipated.

Let me know if this has happened to your writing, and what your thoughts about it were. I'd love to read your comments.

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Okay, enough procrastination. Back to work.


8 comments:

Quillhill said...

I love the photo. Yeah, I've felt like that before!

So what happened to your voice? How did it change?

Stella Telleria said...

I want Mia’s voice to change a bit from the beginning to end. It means she’s grown or changed as a character, which is good. But at the beginning of the novel Mia is coming across smart-assier than she does at the end. I also need to tone down the similes and metaphors at the beginning and spread them out through the novel. I need more descriptions in the middle and end of the book as well. I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Quillhill said...

Maybe her smartassiness is a weapon she uses to keep herself and others at a distance, and that breaks down as the novel progresses? Unconsciously, her smartassiness slowly fades away, allowing certain people to get closer to her? I'm just speculating.

Botanist said...

I know my style changed drastically between my first attempt at a novel, and my second, and I think it developed through the second but in more subtle ways.

It's harder to spot, though, because I don't write linearly. I flit back and forth from scene to scene, leaping ahead to interesting bits and then coming back to fill in the gaps, so the end result is more even.

Stella Telleria said...

Quillhill,
I agree with you, and that’s not me choosing the path of least resistance. LOL! I think it’s fine if she’s got a little more sass in the beginning. It is a coping/distancing mechanism. The problem is some of the sass is not in keeping with her personality. Mia would definitely not think or say some of that stuff, so I have to make it more in tuned to her.

Botanist,
So far I’ve been working quite linearly, which I’ve read one shouldn’t do. *shrug* I needed to make some serious changes to the story so I started from the top. This made it quite obvious when I went back to the beginning of the book. I’d also just come straight off the heels of the rewrite. I agree there was a big change in style from my first to second revision, and the change in this third revision was a bit more subtle. But it’s still quite obvious to me as I start my fourth revision. >_< Maybe I thought it sounded better in my head when I remembered the beginning of the novel. Reality checks never bounce. Booooo! ;)

Quillhill said...

Also consider the possibility that your writing style or voice did not change as much as your knowledge of the character. Perhaps during the last rewrite you got to know your character much better, and discovered some elements about her that you didn't know before. So you might consider the inappropriate sass to have served as a placeholder until you could figure out what the appropriate sass was.

Stella Telleria said...

Either you're too nice or I'm too hard on myself. LOL!! Maybe it's a little of both. ;)

Jean Davis said...

I've definitely had this problem too, though mostly with my first novel because of all the massive rewrites. Now that I'm through that, I've found rewriting other projects don't have near as much of that anymore. Some of it is being more aware of that exact issue and making a conscious effort to focus change on the character not on how I'm telling the story.

The problem of having pet phrases/words can still be a problem though depending on how fast I get through the revision. I try to be more aware of that too, but sometimes I just get wrapped up in writing and don't see it until what I'd hoped was the final read through.

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