Friday, 15 November 2013

I’VE GOT 5 REWRITING PROBLEMS AND A SCRIPT AIN’T ONE

Lucy V Hay
Guest post by Lucy V aka @Bang2write

So this week I’ve been rewriting my novel.

Well, I *say* rewriting my novel, what I’ve actually been doing is this:

Reading and re-reading the manuscript
Pacing up and down a lot
Drinking coffee
Baiting other writers on Twitter
Doing other work
Swearing
Phoning my husband at work and leaving him long bleating voicemails about how this book will NEVER be finished
Emailing writer friends and sorting out THEIR problems instead
Freaking out on Facebook

So in other words, I’ve not really got any rewriting done at all.

Why is rewriting so hard? Well, unhelpfully that can depend on the project. For me, this time around, it’s very specific. It’s a problem of tone. As this novel is a companion to another which was very gritty and realistic, this one is simply too … OTT, ie. it’s not based in reality “enough”. (I already knew this before I got the feedback that confirmed it, which made it all the more difficult somehow – GRRR!).

Dealing with writers in my other job as a script editor however, I would say writers’ main issues with rewriting are actually psychological and cover the following:

1) “I’m not good enough”.

You need confidence to be a writer and no one’s going to validate you; you have to believe in yourself. And if you don’t? You find yourself paralysed with indecision or worse, fear. Ergo no writing gets done. So believe in yourself. Do whatever it takes. Only you can know what that is.

2) “I’m so confused.”

Lots is made of getting something down on paper – anything  - and then “just editing/rewriting it later”. And if you have problems finishing (ooh Matron), then this is a good tactic. However, if your central concept does not work or you’re not sure of your motivations for writing that piece in the first place, then you can really flounder later on. Sometimes, doing whatever it takes and putting in the time at FOUNDATION level can mean less rewriting. Honest guv!

3) “It’s up to others to validate me”.

Unless you’re a hobby writer, there comes a point when a work has to go out into the big bad world. Others will see it and rate it – and the savvy writer knows that these are only OPINIONS, not facts. So what if someone says you’re a crap writer? But equally, who cares if someone says you’re a GOOD writer! Seriously! The key here is – DOES THE STORY WORK? That’s what you must know. Don’t let yourself off the hook worrying if it’s “good” or not.

4) I don’t want to “kill my darlings”.

Look, I get it. You’ve spent ages over this writing and made all kinds of sacrifices both personal and financial to get it done.  As a result, if you rip out *this scene/ chapter/character and/or return to page 1, you feel like all that time is wasted. But guess what: it’s NOT wasted if it means you get to where the story *should* be. Holding on to flawed pages will never cut it. Doing whatever it takes WILL (are you beginning to see a theme here?).

5) Writer as serial killer: killing darlings TOO MUCH.

Over the years, many of my Bang2writers have fallen in love with the simple ACT of writing and sabotage themselves another way: they rewrite their projects literally TO DEATH. As a result, again: they never finish. Throw those flawed pages away; move on to the good stuff – and RECOGNISE IT WHEN YOU SEE IT. That’s a skill itself. And guess what you have to do to learn it: whatever it … right! See you get it.

So, don’t let these errant thoughts get in the way of your rewriting … Because, as I’ve found out this week, there’s plenty of other ways to derail you, so why add to the list?? Good luck!

BIO:

Lucy V Hay is a script editor, novelist and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. Lucy is author of the book, WRITING AND SELLING THRILLER SCREENPLAYS (Creative Essentials) and the novels, THE DECISION: ELIZABETH’S STORY and THE DECISION: JASMINE’S STORY, both out in 2014.

Introduce yourself to Lucy on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Authors for Philippines

This is an online auction to raise money for the Red Cross’s Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.

Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines on Friday (8 November), causing catastrophic damage. It is the strongest storm ever to make landfall, hitting an area where thousands of people are already homeless after an earthquake in mid-October.

The 300-mile wide typhoon – locally known as Yolanda – has left a trail of destruction with thousands feared dead. The full extent of the damage will become clearer in the next few days as rescue teams reach the more remote areas.

Philippine Red Cross volunteers have been on the ground since before the storm hit, helping with evacuation plans and warning communities. Now, they are getting aid to the people who are most in need and preparing to help thousands more.

The auction is now live and you can bid on the items via the comments on the individual posts.

Once the auction has ended (Wednesday 20th November), the winning bidder will donate the funds directly to the Red Cross and send the confirmation of payment to the Authors for Philippines appeal. When they have received the confirmation, they'’ll ask the relevant author to contact the winning bidder.

If you’re interested in bidding on an item, please see the Browsing & Bidding page.

If you’re an author who would like to offer an item for auction, please email authorsforphilippines@gmail.com

I am offering a read and review of your YA manuscript (up to 60,000 words), plus signed copies of my books, Bring Me Sunshine and Where Bluebirds Fly, plus I will name a character after you in my soon to be completed story – How to be Lucky!

If you would like to bid on my lot in this auction, you can do so here.



Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The train now arriving at platform #1...

Do you want to leap on board the train of literary fame and fortune?
As more and more opportunities for social connection spring up on the internet, building a writers platform – the place from where you are supposed to launch yourself onto the train of literary fame and fortune – has never been easier. And as an Indie writer, you need to nurture this platform and wave attractively from it, because if people love you, they're going to buy your books, right?

But what is attractive?

Some people will tell you it’s all about being yourself, being real, and enjoying the interactions you have with people you’ve never met, and never will. Others will tell you it’s all about selling - your books, yourself and your soul. And plenty of folk will tell you to be generous and promote others ten times more often than you promote yourself.          
Is this you?
I can’t tell you which of these is right. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. But what I can tell you is that if you are a slave to your social media platforms, rather than climbing on board the train of literary fame and fortune you may well discover a dreadful inclination to throw yourself under it.

You are not alone!

Doctors in the UK are currently treating writers on a daily basis for the following conditions.

SMF – Social Media Fatigue – a common problem, refers to a tendency to pull back from social media when you become overwhelmed.  

MOPS – Multiple Online Personality Syndrome – occurs when you spread yourself too thinly across different platforms.

CBBC – Can’t be Bothered Condition – often sets in when you join a new network and you have the dilemma of whether or not to befriend the same people and post the same posts or whether to make new friends and find new content… and really, like, life is short, you know? Can you actually be bothered?

So what is the answer? After extensive research I have discovered this 5 point plan works every time.

1.      Turn off your computer
2.      Read a book by another Indie Author
3.      Write a review for another Indie Author
4.      Send some fan mail to another Indie Author
5.      Go to bed, feeling like a better human being,

Next day, you should be totally over your social media fatigue, plus you’ll have something of value to update all your followers about.

If you been affected by this post, please leave a comment below. Thank you.