Jane Ridgewood

Another Tea Addicted Writer On The Loose!

I thought it would be good to give a little update on the progress of Collected. For those of you who don’t know, this is my upcoming debut horror novel. At the moment I am still editor shopping and fundraising. I am also re-writing a few chapters. As I have been going through my own edits trying to get the manuscript ready to send off to an editor I’ve noticed some of my own errors that require the bit of re-writing. Also, I received some criticism recently on the first four chapters that definitely compelled me to want to reevaluate my approach with how my protagonist was being portrayed.

So if you didn’t know, I did share the first four chapters back in mid-October on my site here (see chapters one, two, three, and four). I also printed those off for a couple of friends who don’t necessarily have access to my site that wanted to read them. For the one, it was in spite of the fact this is for the Horror genre. A genre this particular friend does not normally read at all. Thus it was no real surprise to me when they came back to me with a ‘meh’ vibe about it. Some commentary made me realize how I handle criticism on my work – but I’ll get into that more in an upcoming post.

For now I will just say that some of the comments did make me reevaluate my approach on the story’s start. Naturally that kind of goes with the flow of the rest of the story too, but I am carefully going through this. Is this frustrating? Only in the sense that it’s things like this that have made this novel take me so long. On the other hand though – I really want to make sure I am telling this story (as any of my stories) to the best of my ability and the story’s potential. I don’t want to just throw words together and send them off to be published. I want to create and release quality work for my readers.

This actually has me thinking though I may either drop from NaNoWriMo this year, or do a project switch. Likely it’ll be the latter of the two, and for more reasons than just my thinking it might be best to focus solely on Collected for the time being. However those reasons will be explained in another upcoming blog post for the site.

If you’re a writer, do you often feel you have to re-write your work? How many drafts does it typically take you for a story until you feel it’s done?

XOXO, Jane

15 thoughts on “Collected Update

  1. Blog posts – write once and done. Dissertation – two drafts. Tales From the Haunted Wordsmith – two drafts. Life in River Hollow – three drafts. Reflected Echo – five drafts (draft 1 was 33k posted on blog, draft 2 was 28k rewrite, draft 3 ended up being 75k expanded story, draft 4 was 52k edit of v.3 and draft 5 was the 55k final write and two trips through Grammarly, the final version (draft 6) was 55k + one trip through Grammarly + two trips through ProWritingAid + one last pass with autocrit.)

    I don’t have the money for an editor, so I do the best I can.

    In regards to re-writing my work, I tend to not really do major reworks because it is the characters’ story and not mine. I found with Life in River Hollow that if I try to force characters into what I want, they balk and hold up the process. It can cause delays and frustration. My biggest problem is when they stop telling their story because they got bored with it. I have so many WIP that are just waiting for them to come back that it is annoying.

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    1. I have never heard of ProWritingAid or autocrit. I’ve heard of Grammarly, but have never used it. Also it’s definitely a big writer’s mistake (in my opinion) to try and force anything from your muses. I definitely agree the stories belong to the characters that live within them. When I re-write I don’t really do anything ‘major’ that would change my muses pathway or story. It’s more of finding the right words to use to articulate their world and personalities to the best of my ability.

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      1. I don’t like using Grammarly or the others, but they are nice for a simple grammar check (especially with commas lol), and they show all your passive sentences. I don’t correct all of them, but some I do. Just don’t make the same mistake I did and name your character Echo…lol. Everything kept telling me I forget to add “the” in front of her name. Now, that would have definitely changed the story lol.

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      2. That probably really would have changed your entire story. LOL!

        When I get to the actual story writing I use Microsoft Word to type it out. It has a really good grammar checker, which is probably why I have never bothered to look at Grammarly (or others) beyond advertisements I see for it.

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      3. I use word for all my writing. Tried Scrivener but it was too different for me. I have found Word’s grammar check to be okay, but it is interesting to see the things that Grammarly picks up that Word doesn’t. It will highlight your errors for you and you have the option of accepting their suggestion or not.

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      4. Hmmm…I may have to check out Grammarly just to compare the two.

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  2. Novus Lectio says:

    Hard to say as I’ve never written fiction . But for mine , about 4 drafts

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like at least 3 to 4 drafts is a pretty standard draft process. However some of us do write more than that, depending on the project.

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      1. Novus Lectio says:

        Yes! That’s true.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m sure nonfiction writers can find themselves writing out a draft or two as well. 🙂

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  3. Kim says:

    I am a serial editor which means I write very slowly. I am just about at the stage where i need to print out my whole draft and re-type it in to pick up errors and flesh out some parts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can be, depending on what I’m writing. Good luck with your draft!! 😀

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    1. Thank you so much! ❤

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