Practice

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  • #3044

    xaenyth
    Participant

    How long did it take you, once you actually started to put in some effort, to start to see drastic changes in your writing for the better?

    #4957

    annsquared
    Participant

    My story is a little backwards. I started to write one night and within a month or two I had a 100,000-word novel. I was definitely putting in effort, and I thought it was fairly decent for a first draft.
    Then, and this is a big ‘then’, I decided to do a little writing-related research, and I found absolutewr!te dot com (that site is a godsend for writers).

    Yeah, my dialogue was punctuated incorrectly, I was filtering all over the place, my plot was for shit, I had no concept of deep character viewpoint (though by some miracle I managed to avoid any POV slips, probably only because I was writing in 1st person)…..this list could go on forever. So I logged in some serious time on my new favorite website, and I made myself go back and revise my ms (yes, even all the dialogue punctuation), even though I knew it was beyond salvaging, because I wanted the lessons to really sink in.

    A few months later, I started on my second ms, and it was dramatically better than the first. Astoundingly better. That one’s resting, and I’m on to my third, which is already shaping up to be even better than the second. And AW is still my favorite website.

    #4958

    Kenra Daniels
    Participant

    I’m a little backwards too. I was a serious writer in high school, then it went on the back burner for years. I became seriously ill, and it took years to partially recover. From that illness, and some of the treatment, I lost a lot of cognitive ability – I went from studying Hydrogeology and Organic Chemistry to can’t balance the checkbook. When I finally found a decent doc, then the right treatment, I started improving. Not long after that, I started writing again.

    I had to re-learn almost every part of writing beyond the very basics. AbsoluteWrite.com became my best friend, and I logged serious hours there. looking at my early attempts, a bit over 3 years ago, the growth is phenomenal. I’m always studying, working to improve, and I can see drastic improvement over just a few weeks (sometimes days) in my early stuff. I write every day that I can, and attempt to apply everything I’ve learned every time.

    I wrote my first novel at 16, and thought it had been lost in our last trans Atlantic move. Recently, my mom brought me a box that she said had “Army papers” in it. At the bottom of the box, was a marked up copy of the first draft. Reading it now, I see all the elements except a decent plot were there. My writing today is consistently better, and I have good plots.

    My current work is ready for publication, but I’m still working to improve it. The only reliable way I know of doing that is to write, a LOT, read a LOT, and study a LOT of what works, ask for and pay attention to the advice of good writers, and ask for opinions of my work from those who read, and write, my genre. And I still spend a LOT of time at AW.

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