On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Rough Drafts

General wisdom advises a writer just to sit down and write. Don't think about word choice, transitions, run-on sentences. WRITE without editing as you go. I agree. Getting something on the page is important. Turning off the negative critic can be hard, but do it. (I can talk about the negative critic some other time). Allow yourself to write "crap," then go back and edit.

When I have a name to look up, or a word that I've used 3 times in a paragraph and need to change, or to figure out a new word, or the time that has passed, I just put ** in my manuscript and keep on going. Sometimes, if a scene is rolling along on dialogue and I don't even have the setting right (Like the matchmaker T'Willow's house). I put (describe T'Willow's house here)**. Then, during one of the slow times, or before I polish the scene to take to critique, I will go through the scene, chapter, manuscript for the ** or () and clean it up.

Usually I'll edit my work on the computer a couple of times, then print it out -- because looking at a sheet of paper is a whole lot different than the computer. Eventually I'll print the whole book out in landscape form, Times New Roman, single-spaced and two pages to the printed page -- more like a book, this too looks different and can give me a sense of the rhythm of my words, where they are awkward.

So bless the times when the scene is in your head and flowing out onto the page (as opposed to dripping on the screen one by one like droplets of blood from an open vein), keep with the writing and if you've used "energy" four times in the paragraph, just ** three of them....

Love to all, running late for the bus, cool and gray again today,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's good advice.

8:06 AM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

We sound pretty alike in our drafting styles. I do always use words, but I tend to add too much that needs to be taken out later, like qualifiers and semi-colons. Then I skip dialogue tags and get names mixed up. I usually know who they are though, so it works.

I do actually have a name, btw - Betsy Dornbusch. However, I was tagged with Sex months ago and it just stuck, since my blog is Sex Scenes at Starbucks. Just about everyone calls me Sex online.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Yes, tightening is something I usually need to do, too, as you can tell by the blog! Thanks for coming by, Sex, love the icon!


8:36 PM  

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