Update 14 - Project SS

New year, new look!

Thank you for subscribing for updates for A Whim Away's next project, codenamed Project SS. With the new year, I looked at my writing practices to see what was working, what wasn’t, and what new things I can adopt to tell you great stories.

Writing habit

First up, was my writing habit. I truly believed that I should only write when I want to, but that only works up to a point. Once it becomes challenging, I’m forever waiting for that perfect moment when the perfect words magically appear on the page. This is where a habit comes in. I needed something that was short enough to be doable every day. This needs to be compatible with my concentration and motivation.

So I decided to write for five minutes a day starting on New Year’s Eve. It may seem insignificant, but it adds up! For example, writing 100 words a day will contribute towards 36,500 words in a year. I was stunned.

Adopting editing suggestions

The second thing on my list was editing. Apart from my editors, I am part of writing groups who give excellent feedback, whether developmental, line or copyedit. Usually multiple people give feedback, so how do I incorporate them into my manuscript in a way that requires the least energy?

For example, I am part of a Facebook Group that has #FirstLineFriday, where we get feedback about the first line of our writing. Just one line generated dozens of comments. Some said the same thing, but the rest tackled something different about my single sentence.

I want to do minimal changes that require the least energy to get the best result. My process is (1) marking relevant words with comments containing the feedback, (2) tagging each feedback with a keyword, (3) analysing the tags for the changes, and (4) make the changes.

As an example, my first line for Project SS was:

“I don’t think he can afford me,” Sebastian thought, walking up the path to the dilapidated door.

My analysed tags from the feedback were:

(done) italics - 6 comments

(done) path description - 2

(no) door then thought - 2

(done) tense

(??) passive

(no) door description - 2

And the final result was:

I don’t think he can afford me, Sebastian thought, as he walked up the uneven path to the dilapidated door.

Remember that you don’t have to take on all suggestions, but if you reject some, there has to be a good reason why.

'Til next time!
Anna Ceguerra.

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