Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Drafting

I'm having more fun with this first draft than I usually do with such a beast. The sprint journal is helping me keep my ideas in front of me and in order. I love my characters so I'm excited to sit at the keyboard and write their story every day. Also, with everyone out of the house, I have a lot of time alone to work on my writing.

I recently read an interview with Patrick Rothfuss. You may remember I posted about one of his books during the A to Z titled The Name of the Wind. His second novel, The Wise Man's Fear was
also a great novel. That novel was published in 2011 so it's over four years I've been waiting for the next one in the series. Not as bad as George RR Martin but I'm getting a little impatient. That is until I read Patrick's interview.

Despite the amazing success of his novels, Patrick Rothfuss is a family man first. He also uses his blog for charity fundraising. He does a lot of touring and spending time with his fans. Book #3 is int he works but he seems like such a regular guy with his priorities in order. And he mentioned in the interview that he does 'hundreds' of rewrites for each book. Is that impressive or crazy? But his writing is quality so his process works for him.

Another thing Patrick mentioned in his interview is how his degree as a chemical engineer influences his writing. If you've read his books, you understand what he is saying. I find my science background creeps into my writing too. He also makes the point that writers come from very diverse backgrounds and levels of experience. Not all writers have degrees in journalism or creative writing.


Ridley Pearson mentioned at the recent conference I attended that he does a minimum of four rewrites but eight is not an unusual number. I usually do three drafts before I send anything to my publisher though some books have suffered more rewrites than that.

On a personal note, I won't be posting this Friday as my husband and I celebrate our 33rd anniversary. He'll probably buy me flowers and a gift card to a bookstore. He told me he needs some new socks. LOL. I love that man. A quiet dinner out together will be celebration enough for us. We're so content.

"In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on." Robert Frost

Can you imagine doing 100 rewrites on one of your books? Does your degree or day job creep into your writing? Do you feel like your priorities are in order?


56 comments:

  1. A hundred rewrites? I'd put one book every twenty years at that pace.
    Happy anniversary!! Enjoy some quiet time together and let the man get some new socks. I won't be online either as it's vacation time for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. It would take me at least ten years, Alex. Enjoy your vacation.

      Delete
  2. It's nice to hear about a successful writer who also has a solid family life and career. I'm not familiar with this one, I'll go check out his book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really great writing. You won't regret giving it a try.

      Delete
  3. Enjoy your anniversary celebration! My husband and I have been married about half as long but we love quiet celebrations and contentment, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 33 years have gone by quickly. And we were together for three years leading up to our wedding.

      Delete
  4. I can't imagine hundreds of rewrites but I think I'm about to hit double digits with one particularly stubborn story that refuses to be put in the drawer.

    As for Patrick Rothfuss, I adore his two books and like you am patiently awaiting book 3.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I have one that went to double digits. My very first book was close.

      Delete
  5. Happy early anniversary!! I can't imagine doing that many rewrites for a book, though I'm not an author. I would think I would get tired of the stuff after a bit. I do think I have my priorities in order :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do get tired of a book after a lot of rewrites.

      Delete
  6. That's a LOT of rewrites! I don't rewrite my books, but I do edit them about 20 times or so which does include changing whole scenes before I feel confident enough to submit it to my publisher.

    Happy Anniversary!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Entire scene changes might count as a rewrite. Thanks for the wishes, Chrys.

      Delete
  7. Hope you have a happy anniversary.

    100 rewrites? pffft I'd go insane, even more so anyway, lol I edit as I go and then do another one after done, then an edit, then send it off to be edited. then do another rewrite/edit. That is enough in most cases.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As fast as you write, you might already be insane, Pat. I used to edit as I went but it took me too long.

      Delete
  8. I did a lot of rewrites on my first book, but I don't think I did 100 of them.

    My degree has creeped into my writing, as have my day jobs, now that I think about it.

    Not sure my priorities are in order, though. Except for the part where my family comes first. After that, though, there's just darkness and some dragons.

    Happy anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Darkness and dragons. When I think of your day jobs I think snark!

      Delete
  9. Happy anniversary! I hope you find him a nice pair of socks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I enjpyed the post, just getting into the swing again of blogging.
    Take care/
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What is your sprint journal? Curious as I'm forever seeking ways to be more organized and speed up the process. I may have over 100 rewrites on the first series I never published. lol Happy Anniversary! I told Husband Unit we're going to see Jurassic World for our anniversary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, we have a guest coming to IWSG in July who will talk about what a sprint journal is and how it will speed up your writing.

      Delete
  12. I love all the stages of writing, and the first draft included. Or, as I call them, vomit drafts. Just get it all the flip down and keep going. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like first drafts too but they take so long for me.

      Delete
    2. Is that bad? That they take long for you?

      Delete
  13. Actually I can imagine 100 rewrites. I think I'm close to that number now on mine. Ha! Not kidding, actually.

    Congrats on your anniversary. I hope you have a wonderful time together!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy early anniversary!

    Re: engineers
    I've never met an engineer yet who wasn't methodical and picky. Guess that's what makes them good engineers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've met engineers like that too. I guess that's a good thing.

      Delete
  15. Um, yes. I rewrite everything so many times that I don't even bother to count. They're not full rewrites every time, especially since I edit as I go, but yes. Hundreds is probably about right.

    ENJOY the writing! I love when it feels like that - like everything is working and you're loving it and into it. That's the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to edit as I went and it took me a year or more to finish a book. Rewriting after the first draft speeds up my production.

      Delete
  16. I'm envious of your quiet house! I do rewrite quite a bit, but don't keep count. Sometimes in sections, sometimes full version revisions, it just depends.

    Have a wonderful anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cate. I love the quiet and it is good for a writer.

      Delete
  17. I think having fun is always a good sign when it comes to writing. But I can totally imagine doing a hundred rewrites. You have to get it right!

    It always drives me nuts to wait for something to come out. It's why I usually avoid getting into a series until it's all complete :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My problem with waiting for a series to come out is that I forget what happened in the previous books and then have to read them again.

      Delete
  18. A hundred rewrites! That makes me shiver!

    I bring my science degree into my stories when it calls for it, and I've even used my experience in the arts to add to a story now and again. It's fun to do research, but even better when you've had the experience to know the answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Karen. I would find 100 rewrites horrifying myself.

      Delete
  19. Happy anniversary! I hope you and your husband have a lovely time. :)

    I've been lucky to meet and chat with Patrick on a number of occasions when he was at Gen Con in Indianapolis. He's hilarious and sweet. He was even on a panel when I did a read & critique of the first chapter of one of my stories (like eight or nine years ago!). I love it when he talks about his kids. He has such a big heart.

    I do find my degrees creep into my writing. Sociology, psychology, philosophy. Maybe that's what makes me such a character focused writer. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so envious you got to meet Patrick. I would love to hear him speak.

      Delete
  20. Happy Anniversary. It sounds like you have a great day planned.

    I'll have to check out Rothfuss' books. I don't think I will ever get all the books I want to read read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean, Ann. There are lots of great books out there.

      Delete
  21. Hi Susan - congratulations on your 33rd anniversary and here's to many more ... 100 re-writes .. no thank you! However a happy dinner, some book tokens, socks the other way ... red toed ones ... and all is well! Enjoy .. and cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He loved his socks, Hilary. Wore some to work today.

      Delete
  22. Happy anniversary! I hope you have a wonderful time.

    I can't imagine doing 100 rewrites - I'd go insane. I do A LOT of planning beforehand to try and keep the rewriting to a minimum. I love the idea of day jobs and personal expertise creeping into our writing - I work in a school, but as I don't write for children, I don't think it helps me very much unfortunately!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. My first draft is just rambling so I don't mind it too much. Actually, I've never made it to a second draft and a third draft is something that might drive me nuts.

    Happy anniversary! Socks is a practical choice. I'd go for something like socks, underwear, or a new shirt.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Wrote By Rote

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would get along with my hubby, Lee. I got him socks and a shirt. He was thrilled.

      Delete
  24. congrats on the milestone anniversary. My first drafts have gotten better and I don't constantly rewrite though I always have panic attacks and doubt when its off to the editor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always have doubts when it goes out to the editor too, Michelle.

      Delete
  25. Congrats on your anniversary, our's in next week...the 43rd for us. Can't imagine re-writing or redoing anything that many times. It would be like me making the same pattern over and over and the thought of that makes me groan. Love the saying about the draft being you telling yourself the story.
    Sandy at Bridge and Beyond

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean, Sandy. My eyes cross when I'm doing fourth round of edits. How could I do 100?

      Delete
  26. Lots of interesting stuff in this post. First of all congratulations on your anniversary. That many years together is something to be proud of. I haven't read any of Patrick Rothfuss's books, but your post prompted me to bookmark his blog. I like that he uses it to raise money for charities. I will check out his books later today. 100 rewrites makes me nauseous - just the thought of it. If I ever become ( let me rephrase that ) once I become a published author, I probably won't be as insecure about each of my drafts, but you never know. The novel I am working on now is getting close to double digit rewrites. Initially I thought that was my clue that this one might not have the right concept or just ain't working. But I realized that each rewrite comes after I have taken time to study the craft from someone I admire and respect. The more I learn, the more I realize what I was doing wrong for so many years. The past year and a half has been a fantastic learning experience for me and I can see a difference in my writing. It's hard when so many amazing authors and instructors have vastly different opinions on how many revisions a novel should go through. Some talented, best selling authors swear by only one revison while others admit to double digits. It's the same for the advice on whether it is best to really plan and structure your novel before you ever write a single word ( Larry Brooks, James Scott Bell) and then some who recommend we just write the first draft from our heart and let it takes us where it does - Steven James. While James puts forth this writing style, the more I study his book and seninars, the more it seems like he has a structure planned from the beginning, he just calls it something different. I'm getting off topic here.

    Glad you are enjoying the drafting process of your work and thanks for the intro to an author I haven't read. Hope you have a fabulous anniversary.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Have a wonderful anniversary!!!
    I can't imagine writing 100 drafts when I've written 9 and that felt like too many. Whew. I try to stop at four major drafts with "extras" for proofreading.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Happy anniversary to you and your husband! Have fun! I can well understand someone writing 100 drafts. I feel like I have done that at times! I've read that Margaret Mitchell did 60 drafts of just Chapter One of Gone With the Wind. So glad she spent so much time on my favourite classic! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I never feel like my priorities are in order, Susan. As for rewrites, I do a minimum of three but usually more. My manuscripts are kind of a moving target once I get the first draft done. Every change seems to require ten other changes, but periodically I stop and create a new file with a new version # so I can always go back to an earlier version if I don't like the way things have progressed.

    ReplyDelete
  30. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! I hope you and your man had a great time. :) Glad I got to see you at the last meeting.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Enjoy your anniversary! I still need to get through the all-important first draft before I can move on. I'm just having so many problems reconciling the threads (and tension) I set up in the first half.

    ReplyDelete
  32. One hundred re-writes? Just reading that makes me feel tired. I am not an author, so I can't say for sure what I would do in a particular situation. I imagine I would be bored with that particular piece of writing if I spend THAT much time re-doing it. However, the perfectionist in me cheers at the chance to perfect my craft. :P

    Happy early-anniversary to you both. Hope you have a fab time. :)

    ReplyDelete