Saturday, July 7, 2007

Edit, Revise, Repeat...

Since I last blogged, I’ve gotten the good word back from my editor that she likes most of my changes (there is still one sticking point, but it is mostly resolved) and I’m almost ready to go back through my sequel again, editing it to line up with the changes in STAKED. My much delayed fantasy novel is almost ready to go back through my local writing group for general bashing and crunching. I’ve also sent a query to Marvel Comics about a mini-series I’d like to write for them.

I’ve got a short story under consideration at COSMOS magazine. Their fiction editor wants to pick it up, but they just ran an invasion short story, so he’s waiting an issue or two before pitching it to his boss.

So what does all that have to do with you? If you want to be a writer, keep writing. Never stop. You will write things that (once you finish them) feel like a waste of time, but that doesn’t matter. Put them aside. Maybe you’ll come back to them later. And of course, as everyone says, write every day. I generally try to write for four hours a night, because I write well at night.

Chart your creative times too. Mine are in midmorning, early afternoon, another in the late afternoon, and then again early evening, and around nine o’clock. Chart yours. Most of my big times are smack in the middle of my day job, so I lose them, which means I have to squeeze all I can out of my lunch hour and the nine o’clock rush. If I’m having trouble getting started, a (no longer than) fifteen minute cat nap helps get me started again.

If I can’t get into the right mood for a scene, then I queue up music that fits the scene and sit there with my eyes closed listening to it until it feels right (but not for more than a few minutes). Once the adrenaline is pumping, and I’m all happy and cheerful, or whatever is required for the scene, I turn off the music and pour that feeling out onto the page.

What works for you? (Comments welcome!)

Jeremy F. Lewis