Tolkien, artist

Catching Up and Editing

I'm almost caught up from my short vacation. Good grief! I can't imagine how horrific catching up would be if I had a real vacation of a week or more. In just five-and-a-half days I had more than 1000 emails, etc to take care of. But I'm finally almost caught up with those. I am doing a serious edit of my LOTR Community story. I have come to the conclusion that I am a rather rough first draft writer. What I write is not unreadable, no, but it needs serious editing to bring all of the stream of consciousness junk into better order, eliminate the duplicate words and repetitions, and catch stupid errors that would totally sink a story. I am a heavy-handed editor, though. I delete whole paragraphs, move things around mercilessly, and in this particular story, I changed the POV completely and am much happier with the story as a result. I wanted to get a fair amount done last night, but this kind of editing comes slowly so I will have to continue working on it tonight.





The story has a stream with fish....


My story mentions a waterfall, so I thought a couple of nice waterfall or stream pictures might be restful for today. My day started at 3am today so that I could catch up and I'll be exhausted by tonight, but I have Master Chef to watch (at least to listen to) and I need to get my own work out of the way so that I can beta for my friend's next chapter.



At the end of the valley is a waterfall. The characters don't get to see it from this perspective,
only from the top, but this was such a pretty picture.


So...stream of consciousness is allowable in my blog. I jump around, flit from point to point, decide to push in X, Y or Z. All permissible. But not in a story that will be posted for reading. No, no and again...no. That's why I've been working on my technique with my Creative Writing course. What amuses me is that the information and suggestions are identical in many aspects to Man, Oh Man by Josh Lanyon which has been my reading materials for several days. I've been working my NookColor's highlighting feature to death in this book. I must have well over 100 parts highlighted. Such a valuable book for me, and it dovetails so nicely with my more standard coursework that I've been laughing with every new chapter. More tomorrow!
I love finding photos to share with my f-list and blog followers. I almost enjoy the hunt for photos more than the daily blurb :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
I have been finding the discussions by the various publishers and editors to be quite valuable. The actual writing examples are quite varied in quality, I agree. I need to get going on reading some of his actual fiction, but need to finish MoM first. Only another 50 pages or so to go, but I have to catch up on my writing before I can finish.

- Erulisse (one L)
What I write is not unreadable, no, but it needs serious editing to bring all of the stream of consciousness junk into better order, eliminate the duplicate words and repetitions, and catch stupid errors that would totally sink a story.

This is why I value my beta-mom so much. She's wonderful at catching these things.

I love waterfalls. :)
A good beta is worth their weight in gold. I have several friends who have volunteered to be readers, but they admit that they are poor at editing. I'm actually fairly good at editing, but need to read things so many times to accomplish it on my own work that it is a very long and protracted affair. Some day I'm sure I'll find myself a good beta reader and it will help a great deal, but I don't feel that my writing is at a level that I can burden anyone with the edits yet.

- Erulisse (one L)
1000 e-mails?? Damn!

I try not to read this...LOL....

I forgot about Man, Oh Man! I have it will hunt it down today.

Hope you enjoyed your mini-vaca.
Yeah. And don't worry, I don't post about AinA at all except very generally. This story that I'm discussing is for LOTR Community and therefore very readable. The characters don't even cross, at least not within a few Ages.

- Erulisse (one L)
Editing is always the hardest for me as well; I actually went out and purchased English and American English grammar books so I could find my way out of my often intense jungle of words. XD Level of Consciousness writing - an expression I first heard about on Deep Space Nine of all things! - is sometimes the best way to write; just let the words flow no matter how or what just so long as the idea gets down. Once it is down then comes the actual hard part. *sigh*

I've been lucky so far when my beta friend has time, but mostly I, like you, take the bull by his horns and shove.



When I got over my "omgodimgonnadie!!!" moment with this shot I heard Aragorn totally mouthing off to a certain elf about heights, taking the hard way around things while said elf just looked back (and down) at his human friend and, with a smile, saying "What's your problem?" LOL

Angel falls, btw, and from the interwebs. :)
Wow, what a totally stunning pic. Love it!!!!

LOL at your Aragorn and a "certain elf" flashback/flashforward moment in time.

Editing is absolutely necessary. But stream of consciousness allows the initial ideas and interactions to get down onto cyber-paper and they can be mutated (and in some cases mutilated) from that point :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
so VERY in love with this pic....
I love the highlighting feature with e-readers. I only really started using it in the last week or so - I took my Kindle on holiday to do some worldbuilding-related reading while I had the free time, and I have made a lot of highlights.
I started out using the highlighting feature almost immediately because I have fanfic as epubs, but never had much luck with getting Calibre to assign chapter headings. So I used highlighting which produces automatic bookmarks to make my chapter designations for the stories. It works well.

For true e-books, I format my highlight in different colors for different designations - blue = books I need to look up or purchase, yellow = quotations/sentences that I need to pay attention to. Green exists also, but I rarely use that color.

- Erulisse (one L)
So...stream of consciousness is allowable in my blog. I jump around, flit from point to point, decide to push in X, Y or Z. All permissible. But not in a story that will be posted for reading. No, no and again...no.

Stream-of-consciousness does only work when written by exceptional and experienced writers, I agree. As you are a fan of pink_siamese you no doubt recognize this from her A Dawn of Many Colors Chapter Thirteen: Through the Doorway.

it was a soft wind, a whisper it would have been if the wind had a voice, something whispering between the wool and his skin like the Serpent in the Garden sliding into his mouth and tasting of the things that never happened but it was okay it was the all-right come out of a fragrant desert night to take hold of me and lead me out of this dream within a dream within the place that has no name in-between such long smooth strange silken seconds and I was through.

That's how you write stream-of-consciousness.
I think that stream of consciousness writing for end-result publication can work, but it has to be specific to a situation and must come from a talented writer. In most of my personal items I want to edit and edit and edit again. I purposefully do not edit my blog - it should be spontaneous and off-the-cuff. I don't want my fiction to be spontaneous, even if the characters are acting that way.

Yes, I am indeed a fan of the Pink one :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
I don't want my fiction to be spontaneous, even if the characters are acting that way.

While it's good to be aware of what you are writing, none of the authors, publishers etc who quote or are quoted regularly consider spontaneity something to be rooted out. It's after you've written spontaneously that you then go back and tackle the editing. Spontaneity is not always easy; when we over-think or second guess, writing can become very hard work, but if spontaneity comes, I associate it with the duende, which is very special.


Duende is the moment when the inside of your mind lines up in some previously unknown combination and falls open to a rushing torrent of images, feelings, words. This is when you’re writing without thinking, scribbling as hard as you can just to keep up, and the words flow out like casual strings of jewels. It is all of these things and more; when in the grip of duende, you are the story. You are God and character and setting and beginning and ending all at once. Sometimes it’s only for one word, or one sentence, or one paragraph. Or one night. Other times it haunts your dreams for months, birthing multi-chapter epics.

That's a quote from Pink's 'Duende and the Fourth Element.'

http://authenticallysmutteh.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/duende-and-fourth-element.html

Where there is no duende, there is no art. Would-be artists who try and eventually abandon the path, or those who think that art can be reached solely through craft---they are would-be artists and not practicing artists because for whatever reason they cannot find the place within themselves where duende happens.

There is craft in writing, but writing without art is how people put together Ikea manuals, not the Silmarillion.
Well since that's exactly what I said, I guess we're on the same page here. The concept of duende is what I have always called by a different name but I have allowed Spirit to speak through me many times in my life. It's always an amazing experience.

I think we're saying the same things here, just in different words - basically that without foundation there can be no craft, and without spontaneous joy that craft will never be uplifted into art, rather it will result in meaningless words that won't outlive the paper they are written on.

- Erulisse (one L)

Edited at 2012-06-13 10:52 am (UTC)
You said I don't want my fiction to be spontaneous, even if the characters are acting that way.

And I remarked that there should be spontaneity in writing, unless one is putting together some kind of instruction manual.
Without allowing oneself freedom of mind when writing, one will never touch the duende

I know you are starting from the beginning with the foundation, to try and learn the craft of writing, but about 90% of the books in this world are craft and possess no brilliance. So I would say not to get too stuck on the craft; allow yourself some spontaneity. It always goes through the editing process after, so if the proofreader thinks it makes no sense, then no harm is done. Learn the craft, but don't chain yourself too it. You have to learn the rules of writing - so you can break them. And that is not a quote from me.

without foundation there can be no craft, and without spontaneous joy that craft will never be uplifted into art, rather it will result in meaningless words that won't outlive the paper they are written on.

That is not what I was saying, sorry. I was talking specifically about the duende.

I think we're coming at the same thing through opposite ends. I don't think spontaneous writing is either right or wrong, just that I write a terrible first draft that always needs some major editing to become anything close to readable.

- Erulisse (one L)