I need your advice

I loved all the great tips my readers shared on the Scrivener giveaway post, and I’m hoping you’ll share some tips even without a free giveaway šŸ˜› I am currently working on the second draft of my novel. I found it extremely helpful to set a mandatory word count for my writing each day (3,000 words). When I started revising my draft, I tried to set another measurable goal of finessing one scene a day; however, some scenes are 1,000 words and others are 5,000 words. Some scenes are fine the way they are and just need some homophone corrections while other scenes need to be more researched or entirely rewritten.Ā I find it really difficult to come to my computer each day and not know if I need to be in writer mode, editor mode, or researcher mode. I can feel my momentum dying down.

So, what are your tips for the second draft? How do you set goals? How do you keep up the momentum? how do balance all the hats a writer must wear?

I look forward to your responses!

And now I shall leave you with some other writer’s thoughts on rewriting:

“There is no great writing, only great rewriting.” – Justice Brandeis

“More than a half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn’t say I have a talent that’s special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.” – John Irving.
“Writing for me is largely about rewriting.” – Khaled Hosseini
“All writing is rewriting.” – John Green

11 comments

  1. My advice would be to identify all your goals and go through the (manuscript? Is that the right word?) several times with only one goal in mind at a time. Maybe label each scene…needs editing, needs research, needs rewriting. Do all the scenes that just need a little tweaking first, and the second time through tackle the scenes that need more. If a scene has more than one label (ie research and rewriting) do the research first, then set it aside and wait til you go through the manuscript again before doing any rewriting. This way, the research you’ve done has a chance to sink in, and each day when you sit at your computer you’ll know which hat to put on šŸ™‚

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  2. Tracy- it’s encouraging for me to read that you still have trouble writing, even though you’ve done so much for your story. I’ve been having a really hard time staying motivated with my writing this past week. Maybe knowing that other writers (like me) are going through a rough period will help you too! I wouldn’t want to see you lose your motivation, just like you probably wouldn’t want to see me lose mine. šŸ™‚
    So keep with it and slog through it!

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    1. Oh that’s really sweet. This is why I love having a writer’s group so that we can help each other out through the slow, frustrating times. Let’s make a deal: I’ll work on rewrites for two hours today if you do your version of the equivalent šŸ™‚

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  3. I get in the mood. Usually at six in the morning when I am not working. I am working on a novel I call the Jew. I am doing it for myself and those who want to read this niche novel. Purely a personal endeavor. Therefore no pressure on me except for the actual desire to just do it. I hope that helps. Make it a pleasure to get your ideas out and it will flow.

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    1. Oh man, people keep suggesting writing early in the morning but I can barely function before nine. I’m glad that works for you. I’m going to keep working on getting in the mood (although at a much later hour šŸ™‚ )

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  4. I’m a rather disorganized writer and the reason for that would reveal more about my personality than my writing habits. šŸ™‚ For that reason, I’m not going to be much help here. But in the spirit of wanting to help, I’ll say this: The one thing I have to keep reminding myself to do, and maybe this will help you on a different level, is to remember to take little breaks between any task you are working on. Especially important if you are bored, or stuck or just plain tired. Even taking a short 5-10 minute break can sometimes work wonders. It does mean getting off the chair and walking out of the room you work in. It sounds to me like you are very disciplined and there is no question you will finish that book (I look forward to reading it!). The only other thought is that you might just be too hard on yourself. I do know a lot about that! šŸ™‚

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    1. I tend to take my breaks on facebook where five minutes morphs into an hour. I like your idea of getting out of the room for a break instead of staying at the computer. This will probably keep me refreshed and more productive. Thanks! P.S. I’m either really disciplined or really lazy — I haven’t quite found a middle ground, yet šŸ™‚

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