Thursday, May 05, 2005

After the Muse Visits...

Maktaaq asked a very good question about my last post, pertaining to the visit of the muse, where the story just comes out. What do I do next?

I know what the right answer is. I suppose if one takes advice like that offered up in Stephen King's On Writing -- he suggests that writers take a brand-new story and stick it in a desk drawer for a few months.

However, I'm usually a lot less disciplined than all that. Generally speaking, when I finish up a story, I submit it much too soon. Granted, I will look it over many, many times, to make sure there are no overt typos or bad sentences -- I always do a few editing sweeps before I send anything out. (And I think some of us suspect that some beginning writers actually skip that step -- which isn't cool, literary magazines aren't editing services.)

However, I am very guilty of sometimes sending something out when I should probably let it sit and simmer for a while and do more work on it later.

It's very hard to be disciplined... and I find that I'm a little less exciteable about the stories that are more difficult to write. Those are the ones that get a much more discerning eye when I am doing my editing process.

Does anybody here put stories away for a few months before revisiting and marketing them? I'm curious what everybody else's habits are in this regard.

Thanks for reading,

LLB

6 Comments:

Anonymous Matt Kirkpatrick said...

I dont put anything away for months on purpose, but I have a few stories I've been working on for years. Mostly stuff that's been rejected by a few places where I find stuff that I can make better.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Maktaaq said...

I just started working again on something I started exactly a year ago...

I am also considering taking a writing course in a few weeks on improving my characters in these old stories (I am becoming more & more convinced that I will take this course).

For shorter pieces, I put them away for a day or so. I always need help with things, because of all the grammatical dropping off points I leap over in my rush to type everything while it sticks around.

I could write more on this, but must run!

7:00 PM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

Hi Matt, I've definitely done that as well -- revisited stories after they have been rejected. Sometimes more ideas come after a few places make some specific comments of things that didn't work for them.

Maktaaq, I'm so glad you're working on something else that you had put aside! That's great, it's always great to pick something up you've left off. And good luck with the writing course -- that sounds like great fun!

11:11 AM  
Blogger Hebdomeros said...

I'm a slow editor. Although I don't like it, I force myself nowadays to put stuff aside for awhile before sitting down with it again. I tend to get caught up in one facet at a time---like maybe I really want to expand on physical details---and that's all I can focus on. I have to go back later to focus on another aspect.

4:11 PM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

Well, it's funny about editing -- when it's your own work sometimes you're utterly immune to typos. Because you know what you meant, you know? I think that's one of the best reasons to consider the whole idea of putting the manuscript aside for a while... I'm an Aries, I suppose I don't have that kind of patience. ;)

6:44 PM  
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