Learning to Walk

I came out running. That was my problem. I started this blog one year ago. I was on my way to a writer’s conference with my MS which was actually a first draft or even a sketch draft. But, I was running and soon realized I had to learn to walk first.

I have spent the last four months completing my novel Summer Palace. I took it from a novella, some 21,000 words long, to a novel of 71,114 words. The ‘filler’ information was all dialog and description. However, I did add some content that was in my head and never made it to the page. At one point I felt it was necessary and vital to add it to the story. I was afraid of going off on a tangent but came to find that it was one of my favorite scenes.

I also built character outlines and scene cards with color-coded POV’S. If you had read an earlier blog where I mentioned I sent my first 60 pages, from another story Places, to a professional editor and was advised to re-edit using a more structured format. I put that project on the back burner and concentrated solely on Summer Palace as a trial more or less.

At the time, since the editorial service was quite expensive I thought I would give due diligence and ‘learn’ the process while completing another WIP. I worked non-stop for four months not even taking time to blog or tweet (regularly). I was on these platforms daily, but had to be focusedÔÇôsomething had to give. Now, with the completion of Summer Palace I am ready to tackle Places and continue to write on this blog whenever possible.

I have learned so much, navigated the landmines of criticism, and managed to have faith in myself to move forward. I recently read an article on Internal Dialog. This is one of the items I need to address in my WIP. As a tool to develop a style in writing internal dialog the exercise is to write for fifteen minutes something from my own personal thoughts. So here it is:

I set my timer because I’m getting old, perhaps numb. When I write I lose all sense of time. Plus, the fact that I’m getting old and it’s getting harder to see. Most of my docs are at 18 point to make it easier. It also mean s more paper on MS drafts printed out, but who’s counting?

I am usually someone of a very few words. However, I find myself spewing forth thoughts that most often remain unspoken. There is so much to this process. I have received many critiques. Some positive and some not so much. On the same samples. So, who do I believe? I have to count out the top two and bottom two due to attrition or some other reason. Then, there’s a frothy mix of a more accurate account of my work. I see some common occurring pro’s and con’s and still many typo’s that were gone over and over but still seem to shine brightly on the page. However, I have to admit it is almost impossible to read a WIP and not correct it every time you read it. Sometimes, minute little changes that I probably change from one to the other each time I read the sentence. Hence, the shocking typo’s are often from recently added or changed copy. I also wonder how much of the tedious going over and over the copy will be futile, for the final editors may remove volumes of copy or even delete scenes. I have also taken suggestions to slow down the pace of my story only to┬á have the opposite review after the edits are made to speed up the pace. That is where critiques are to be weighed and balanced and the writer needs to be the final arbiter.

Checking my timer I have two minutes left. What do I want to say in my final internal dialog?

It never goes away, that feeling of inadequacy. The feeling that perhaps you are not good enough. But, then there are the excellent posts on this blog and the encouragement from family and friends. The level of self-worth is fluctuating and when it’s up it’s the best feeling in the world.

Final thought.

Blogging is internal dialog.

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