Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Stinkers and Gold, Stinkers and Gold

At this very second, I'm reading through the last sixty-five or seventy pages of the manuscript I'm in the middle of writing to try and get back in the flow of the story. Literally, I have them sitting right next to my hands as I write this post.

I may have toasted during the holidays, but they made toast out of me as far as my work is concerned, and this is the best and quickest way I can think of to get back on track.

The point of this exercise is not to edit, but to get caught back up in the plot and the characters. And it's working. But here's what's weird: some of these scenes are in dire need of editing, which doesn't surprise me too much, other than wondering how I wrote such drivel. Others, even though this is the shitty first draft stage, don't need touched. (Well, a caveat here: no one else has seen them, so there is probably something that needs fixin'. Just nowhere near some others I'm reading.)

Why are some of them stinkers and the others gold? And how can I make sure, when I'm committed to bichok, that I'm in the gold mode?

Writers, do you have control over this? Please share.
Readers, have you ever read a published book and been aware that certain scenes needed work?

CR: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.

It's all better with friends.


  1. Timely post Peg, I have noticed that if I go back to my scenes after moving onto another project I can come back to them with a new clarity. It's the same way I used to handle criminal cases. Sometimes it's a good thing to take a break, loosen your connection, and reset the brain!

  2. Thanks, Tom. Right now I just want to get this first draft finished so I can set it aside and begin the edits on another manuscript. No more breaks!

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  4. Peg, I'm reading through mine to get back into the story and finding the same thing. Some scenes I really like, but others--what could I have been thinking! and how can I stay on track? Maybe a checklist of things to consider for each scene?

  5. Ellis, I guess that's what edits are for. I'm afraid a checklist would stifle me a little . . . maybe just a key word or something to remind me of what I often neglect? As if I could pinpoint one or two things. Sheesh.

    I guess that's why not everyone is a writer. It's hard work.