Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Believe in Yourself. Keep Writing."
Plus, Neil Gaiman's Revision Regimen

For those out there struggling with the prose-ache, NanoWriMo-induced or otherwise, some words from Neil Gaiman:

On the whole, anything that gets you writing and keeps you writing is a good thing. Anything that stops you writing is a bad thing. If you find your writers group stopping you from writing, then drop it.

Believe in yourself. Keep writing.

Lemme see...:::believe, write; believe, write; believe, write::: Hmmmm.

Okay, next:

A NaNoWriMo-er back in 2004 asked Gaiman's advice on revisions. NaNo-ers won't have to worry about this until after November 30th, but some of you may be in revision hell right now, so this simple list, which is probably what y'all do already, is just common sense and a bit of fun.

Well, except 6, which, you know, makes me think there's a whole new speculative story in there, "The Rascally Boy Who Moved Paris To Belgium and Wouldn't Put It Back.":

What I try and do is:

1) Finish it.

2) Put it away. Drawers are good. Don’t look at it for a week or so.

3) Read the whole thing, doing my best to pretend that I’ve never read it before.

4) Fix the big things. (These tend to be things that pop out at you when you read it, like noticing that you’ve led up to the prison escape, and then meeting the prisoners after they’ve escaped, and realising that it might really have been a good idea to write the escape. Or that the first chapter would really work better as chapter 5.)

5) Read it through page by page and fix the line by line things. Notice that Omar mysteriously becomes Mustapha on page 50 and stays Mustapha until page 90 when he becomes Mustafa. Pick one and make it consistent. Wonder whether anyone will notice that you’ve put Paris in Belgium. Decide to leave it there, on the basis that no-one will notice.

6) Get up in the middle of the night and move Paris back to France.


RomanceWriter said...

LOL at number six. I had to change a line in one story after I had the dead mother of the main character come back to life and start giving advice. I had forgotten I killed her already.

Mirtika said...

I keep forgetting the names of secondary characters, so I keep renaming them. hahah.