Living in the revision cave.

I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions

–  James Michener

 

My new revision space, the energy is incredible.

Let me begin this post by saying I’m alive. I did not intend to be gone away from this blog for so long, but rest assured I have been productive. Unfortunately I had to make the decision if I was a blogger or a writer because I was getting a little bit time poor. Also, lack of internet access does make blogging a little bit hard and there was no way I was going to type posts on my phone. I did however kept up with all of your updates and progress and commented when could.

Last month has been full of many new things which gave my revision schedule a bit of a shake up.  I took it all in my stride and tried not to be bitter about the chunks it took out of my revising day, because sometimes you have to live a little and be present in the life you live (outside your head that is).

I had a cousin visit from overseas and did the typical ‘Australia’ things like feed Kangaroos.  Also I  decided I would like to balance my life with non-writing commitments, like say, a job so that took a little bit of adjusting. But that was not what impacted my revision time the most….picking up the Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons was what did. It took me on a wonderful and unexpected detour. I never read that genre, but have I been missing out!  I had no choice but to devour the trilogy in a matter of days (four I think). I tried to leave the rest until I finished my own revision but I just could not do it, I needed to read it, I needed to know more.  The impact it had on me took a while to shake off and I still think about the journey it wrenched my heart through.  I just hope that my own story and characters leaves a little something special to the readers who may eventually read it too.  It was the first non-fantasy book I have read which left me feeling the urge to write outside that genre. That’s a big thing too, for me. I’ve always been drawn to the dark and macabre nature of otherworldly characters.

As for my revision progress it’s been going good! I am over half way at 56 000 words and today I realized I needed to stop and print out the whole thing and read what I’ve done so far. I am reaching the end of my WIP and the scenes I have in mind are solid and do not need to be written from scratch. I felt if I continued on without reading over what I have written yet and fixing the threads which have been bothering me, my grand climax and build up will be a weak echo of what I want it to be. I feel if I don’t read what I have as a ‘reader’ I just won’t do the story justice for the end scenes. The last thing I want is something substandard of first draft quality which will mean I have to revise and rewrite that section again – something I don’t want to do because I really want this revision to be tight (and not take the rest of my life).

So this week is all about cups of tea and reading  my WIP like a reader and giving what I have done a face lift and some tweaking.Will also post some belated mini scene updates if you like.

Have you ever stopped mid revision to go back over what you read?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

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Progress Update Scene 18 – 23

Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.

― Stephen King

dew soaked dandelion

Inspiration 

I introduce to you a whole bunch of mini updates. Enjoy 🙂

Scene 18

This scene was a completely surprise. Nothing at all like I imagined it and wasn’t in the outline I had drafted when I started this block revision. It marked a point when a friendship between two characters blossomed and I ended this scene with a happy sigh and feeling far less deranged. The last comment may seem odd, but Scene #17 really did test me.

I already see myself going back and changing a few things but the solid foundation is there, which is rare since a majority of this second revision is a complete rewrite sprinkled with first draft gold. Or should I say…lightly dusted?

1741 unexpected and delightful words.

Scene 19

I got my revision mojo back in this scene after taking a few days break. I stopped just where things got really, really  good so I would be excited to jump straight into things the next day!

1779 words

Scene 20: I learned something completely unexpected about an important character in this scene and I was so grateful to know that the muse was back on board. You know those exciting little sparks? I decided to follow what I did the previous day and just stop. I was ready to power through the next scene but I just wanted to prolong and generate that moment of excitement just a tad bit more.

1522 words.

Scene 21, 22, 23

Three scenes in one day! All in short bursts. How was this even achieved? I actually hauled my sorry butt to the gym at 7am and my mind and body connected in this amazing way and I felt I found the missing piece. I have been putting my gym routine aside and all the benefits it had on my muse slowly unraveled and disappeared. Note to self: Be active, be healthy – preferably in the early morning! I recently re-read all these scenes just to double and triple check I did not just regurgitate complete and utter rubbish and found myself wanting to read more. I feel like I got a handle on the pacing and my WIP once again after hitting a bit of muddled chaos.

2118,  400 and 1045 respectively.

This week’s goal is 7 scenes. It’s also a big week for me because I am returning to work after taking a glorious few months off between relocating countries (again) to get this revision back on track. On top of that I have a long-lost cousin staying with us for a few weeks and will be showing her around but the fire to revise is back once again and I know that I will make the time to get things firing on the revision front of this roller coaster journey.

Where on the roller coaster are you currently on?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Writing and Olympics!

First of all, the opening ceremony – how good was that? Acknowledging great literary talent! I feel that sometimes people forget about the writer/s behind the world and behind the magic. Think of all those Oscar winners who fail to mention the actual author of the book the film was based on. Makes me fume every time. Like hello, there will be NO AWARD and you would not be where you are professionally if there wasn’t a writer who chose to live in the cave for a couple of years years give or take.

On a different not, what an incredible year for women too. Every country this year had female representatives! Incredible. It does not solve the whole gender divide ‘thing’ which bothers me (I won’t go into great detail right now) but it is still nonetheless a great achievement and it made my little heart smile. It also made me question how much I do in my own life to grow as a woman and take advantage about the freedoms available to me.

Which brings me to writing. To achieve what I want to achieve as a writer I need to have the razor sharp focus I saw gleaming in the eyes of the athletes representing their country. Therefore I vow to have seven scenes revised/rewritten by the end of this week which will officially bring me to the half way point of this WIP. From now on I promise to bounce back from setbacks and trips to writer hell faster and most of I want to get back to blogging regularly once again. After I catch up on my progress update I will go back to my mini updates because they were much more manageable and motivated me to get the grueling scenes done.

What are your Olympic writing goals/ training schedule ?

Love and Light,

Anushka xx

Related Links

Kristen’s eye-opening Schedule – Wednesday is Spaghetti Night  

 

 

1 Year Blog Anniversary

The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.
– Oprah Winfrey

balloons balloons balloons

Image

I was living in Vancouver when Finding My Creature was created. I had just moved to Canada and was losing track of the reason I had moved there in the first place –  to discover myself creatively and grow as an artist. Fast forward a year and different country later  that desire has not changed, in fact the urge to enrich my life creatively has grown stronger.

During the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about this blog. It still feels right. I was worried that I had chosen the wrong name and I was not branding myself correctly as a writer but the journey of finding my creature continues. I have been lucky and so blessed to have connected with many amazing writers and share your writing journey with you. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one living in a writing/revision cave.

Speaking of that cave I took a mini vacation from it. Not a long one, just a few days. It was nice to be less connected to technology and I think that was one of the contributing factors to why my mind was feeling sluggish and irritable. It made realize that a healthy and happy muse is dependent on a healthy and happy you! So from now on I’m prioritizing the outdoors for my own sanity!

I have my revision mojo-back so my scene updates are coming in case anyone was wondering what had happened to them. I think I’ll post them at the end of each week so I can share other content on this blog to.

Until then, HAPPY MONDAY everyone (Well to those who live in the future)

Love and light,

Anushka xx

My trip to Writer Hell – Scene #17

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer

– Albert Einstein

Monster jars

Scene #17 Inspiration

So. I’m alive. It’s been a while since my last scene update and I was truly beginning to wonder if I would actually live long enough to fix this scene.  I’m sure as writers  we can all relate to that scene. You know the one that makes you contemplate banging your head against a brick wall so you did not have to be stuck working on that scene. In fact, cleaning also seems strangely enticing when faced with that scene. If you look through the twitter hash tag #writerhell you can find lots of related references to that scene.

Deep breath.

Despite being stranded in my own version of writer hell I managed to refrain from viciously barking at anyone who dared approach my lair. Apparently writers get temperamental and at times downright scary towards loved ones and stray children when something is not going according to plan? Clearly I would never…okay, maybe. Lets not go there.

What I’m trying to say is…I tried everything short of selling my firstborn to the devil to get this scene right. I drew maps, word graphs, I changed writing locations, wrote longhand, typed frantically with a timer, deleted everything and started over (times 8), meditated, napped, pulled out the big guns (instant coffee), searched for visual prompts, wrote to music, wrote in silence, procrastinated, seriously contemplated selling my first born to the devil and may have even cried a little bit. It’s all part of the journey right?

3370 word.

How do you cope in writer hell?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Post #1

Insecure Writer’s Support Group 

Where do I start?

Dear Revision,

I hate you. I love you. You drive me crazy, but not always in a good way. Take today for example,  it took me eight hours, eight hours to fix a scene today. In revision time, eight hours feels like three whole days without sleep or food to my brain so in theory you almost killed me. I have had no experience with a newborn – or pet – to be adequately prepared for such a thing so that was plain mean.  I would understand if the scene was say, very long, or very broken, but it was neither of those things. It was a fresh rewrite with limitless shiny possibilities in a new world I could not wait to explore – a world you could not wait to have written in so you don’t look pathetic. I understand that a blank page presents its own challenges Revision, but don’t you think NOW is a bit too late to tell me over 150 hours of research, planning and dissecting was not enough to get me though this rewrite? Really? Can’t YOU read the information clearly stated on my index cards and just write it says? No you cannot. Sometimes I wonder if you even graduated kindergarten, you clearly never learnt to read in the first place. Maybe I’ll finger paint my outline next time.

You. Like. To. Drive. Me. CRAZY! Don’t you?

In fact, for a solid five hours today I think I thought I was a saucepan, one I planned on hitting over my head. If that doesn’t make me sound like a crazy person I don’t know what does! You know Revision, I TOOK BREAKS. I actually took breaks today and I cleaned my room and writing space and even snacked healthily. Unless you count those cream puffs I found, but my muse (yes I’m bringing my muse into this now) told me it contained strong traces of protein so I feel no guilt whatsoever for that!

Now where was I…

That’s right I remember now –  I hate you. Today I truly hated you.

But somehow in the last 20minutes of this revising ordeal you transformed the piece of crap you called a scene into something worth having. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but couldn’t this epiphany happen like say… yesterday? I was so calm and relatively normal before all this. Don’t you want a calm and level-headed writer who actually knows she’s a human being and not a kitchen appliance to polish the story of your dreams?

Clearly not.

I guess this is the path of a creative person… something I hope to deal with better over time. Until then I shall question my sanity every single day and experience an ongoing identity crisis.

That is all Revision. In fact I already feel better for lashing out at you.

Now muse…I have a few words to say to you too.

– Crazy Person

Scene #12 Done!

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go

– E. L. Doctorow

Old mirrors

Scene #12 Inspiration

Short, sweet and very fast paced. Pacing wasn’t something I actively paid much attention to when writing but being more aware of time and how it moves between your fingers has really helped me in this revision. Since I knew this scene would be fast and short I chose to type it over longhand.

Took me an hour, the shortest rewrite so far.

704 words.

How are your words and pacing going? Do you think of time and how it passes?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Scene #11 Done

Writing is an escape from a world that crowds me. I like being alone in a room. It’s almost a form of meditation – Neil Simon 

Abandoned Mansion.

Scene #11 Inspiration

Had a revision free Friday yesterday so I am a couple of scenes updates behind. I was going to indulge and engage in the real world today and take today off as well but I just wanted to work on the scene which has been a little bit of a trouble maker – Unlucky #13…of course. Why am I even surprised?

Just a quick update today.

2079 words.

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Scene #10 Done!

If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. 
–  Toni Morrison

witch

Scene #10 inspiration 

It feels like I reached a mini milestone – double digits!  I was meaning to post this soon after my last post but got caught up in my other scenes. I normally just work on one at a time then polish it, blog a quick update and never look at the scene again. But this time I just kept on writing and writing. These scenes are written completely from scratch so maybe that’s why. There are no where near up to standard though but it feels nice to have the bones of the scene there ready to work with.

1904 words.

Love and light,

Anushka xx

ps- I just want to take this moment to say that I have been enjoying reading about everyone else’s updates and that you all inspire me with your progress 🙂

Scene #6 Done!

The older I grow, the less important the comma becomes. Let the reader catch his own breath

 – Elizabeth Clarkson Zwart

What lurks outside

Scene #6 Inspiration

 

Technically it was done two days ago but I wanted to let it sit for a while before tweaking it a little bit. I took a day off from revising yesterday which was very difficult for me. But as I became more connected to the real world I enjoyed giving my brain a break. I make it a point to stop my rewrites when something exciting happens so my next session isn’t as daunting. So having that day off actually made me more excited to get back into things! 

Tomorrow marks one week since I began this phase of my revision and I did not expect it to fly by so fast. Unfortunately I did not make the 50 hours I was aiming for since I did not take into consideration that my love had just undergone knee surgery and that I would want to be there to take care of him – of course he comes first in my life! Despite that, I still managed 24 hours, 6.5 scenes and 11,820 new revised words. I learned a few good lessons with this.

  1. I cannot revise for a whole entire day
  2. I revise well in two session, one in the morning and one before I go to bed.
  3. 50 revision hours in a week might kill my brain because time works weirdly when I revise

It is nice to know what works well for me during this stage. When i’m typing away at my first draft if is all day everyday full steam ahead. Not quite the case with rewrites. 

So Scene #6 – 1076 words.

Thank you everyone for your encouraging support and your WIP updates. It feels so great to be connected with people living in the same writer’s cave I do 🙂

Love and light,

Anusha xx