On the Right Track
I spent this past Saturday at a writing seminar taught by Candace Havens and Liz Pelletier. Candace presented her Fast Track writing workshop (write a novel in a month), and Liz presented her three-part Edit Like a Professional workshop. Both women were friendly and engaging, and they handled lots of questions from the very engaged group.
Candace’s Fast Track program turns out to be a version of what I’ve been doing to complete the Diamond Brides. Candace measures her progress in pages, rather than words, and she relies heavily on group accountability — announcing that you’re working, announcing that you’ve worked. But aside from those two differences, we both believe in writing every day, writing till you’ve met your goal for the day, turning off your internal editor to just get words down, and reveling in the way our subconscious minds know the story and track the story and relate the story — often better than our conscious minds could do.
(Candace also advocates a positive attitude — there is no whining in Fast Track — an approach that I *try* to emulate on a daily basis!)
Liz’s editing sessions emphasized a somewhat different system than my own — she advocates three editing passes. The first is an overall read-through without any commenting on the actual manuscript (focusing on the global aspects of the story), the second is a firm editing pass of the story, and the third is a copy-edit-ish pass of the actual text. (She has different terms; I’m summarizing.)
I found that greatest value in Liz’s admonishments to edit the story — both what is (duh!) and *isn’t* there. She advises writers to look for missing scenes, to realize when they’ve forgotten to include vital information, etc. — vital reminders, especially to those of us writing fast.
(With regard to actual text, Liz and I are in almost complete agreement about grammar and usage — she values the Oxford comma as much as I do! — but we’ll have to agree to disagree about exclamation points, which she says should never be in a novel.)
So, useful sessions, as reminders of what I should be doing, if nothing else 🙂
Alas, I ended up missing the Sunday sessions, due to my pinching a nerve in my neck while I was engaging in the extraordinary task of *getting dressed*. Yes, ladies and gents, I have skilz!
So, Sunday was a quiet day around here — I finished reading BRING UP THE BODIES (which I loved, loved, loved), and I finished knitting my Wingspan shawl in summer blues and greens (which I love, love, love), and similar high-value activities 🙂
And now, it’s time to get back to writing. Without whining. Because there’s no whining in Fast Track or in Klasky Rapid Release 🙂
What did *you* do this weekend?