on temporary fire

Sometimes I know when something in one of my stories is off. This is boring, says the inner muse. It's putting me to sleep.

That's about as much as the muse with share with me, though. Usually I'm not sure what the problem is and I almost never come up with a fix right away. Today I saw the problem and knew how to fix it before I drank coffee this morning.

First up: boy shuffling, exercise and then I'll fix the novel's problem and make the plot scream with ecstasy, even though it's not one of those stories.

How did I manage to see/solve it with so little effort? No flipping clue. Yo, I'm elated when I pinpoint a problem. Self editing is not a strong point so I don't often see there is one, much less where it is or what to do. I need crit partners.

How do you root out and destroy bad stuff in your writing?
Reading aloud?
Crit Partners?
Letting the work sit for a while and pretending you've never read it?
Following Author X's Guide to Self Editing?
Or is your first draft perfectomundo?


  1. Anonymous10:00 AM

    I have the attention span of a gnat. If I can't sit down and get involved with the story and type out at least three pages before clicking over to surf on the internet, then I know something needs to be changed.
    However, I could never figure anything out Before my coffee, lol.

  2. When I don't want to write it anymore, something's gone wrong. Generally, the problem is not with me but with whatever crap I've written for the past week. Back up. Start again.

  3. I always wrote it all out and then after a good chunk is done - say 10 chapters or so - I weed some stuff out. Then I weed more when it's all over. I do wee little weedings after every scene if Snookie didn't react how I wanted.

    But I'm pretty good at self-editing, if I wait at least a day before looking back at it. (I'm pretty good at editing in general, or so I'm told.) Of course now I don't really write and I just kinda blog and I don't bother editing that at all.

  4. I had to wait until Brad and Lori started having postcoital yaps in my head. Until then, I couldn't figure out where I was going.

    This particular block has taken forEVER to overcome. Gaaaah.

  5. I favor the 'marinate' method, myself. Put it away and pretend I never saw it before. It sometimes helps that I have an atrocious memory .... Yes, I even surprise myself during the re-read!


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