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Do you write a novel start-to-finish, or keep going back and editing previous chapters?

As has been requested (endlessly) EK's Star Log is returning to the internet. You can still read the original archive here... https://eelkat.wordpress.com 

The reason you couldn't find it is because I set it to private un-index mode, meaning it no longer shows up in Google search results and can only be accessed by a direct link.

Meaning, if you didn't have the url for it, no amount of searching for it would tell you how to find it. Anyone who had the url could still access it though.

I had set it to private September 23, 2013, intending to move each page here to EelKat.com... however, November 14, 2013, after only moving about 30 pages, I was beaten up and left paralyzed for 5 months, then spent 18 months relearning to walk. I am still crippled and have limited mobility.

Below is one of the blog posts that originally appeared on EK's Star Log. The original articles are still online but no longer indexed in Google. Links to the original article, are included with this post, as is the original posting date. Clicking the links will take you to the original site, where you can see the old Space Dock 13 website still online. Space Dock 13 as it looked when hosted on WordPress from 2003 to 2013.

By EelKat Wendy C Allen

Do you write a novel start-to-finish,
or keep going back and editing previous chapters?

Do you write a novel start-to-finish, or keep going back and editing previous chapters?

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | Comments Off

do you write a novel start-to-finish, or keep going back and editing previous chapters? i’m interested to know how most people would write a novel.

i’ve only ever written one, but i basically sat down and wrote it start to finish, and didn’t go back to re-read the start until i’d got all the way to the end.

but then there are people who’ll write a bit, then go back and edit a previous chapter or even add a new one in near the start, and keep going back and forth and writing the novel in ‘pieces’.

which do you do, and why does it work for you?

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My Answer:

I probably have the most hectic scatter brained method of writing possible, because I am absolutely all over the place when I write! LOL!

I rarely have a plan, I never have an outline, I almost never know the what the ending is going to be until I get there, and I don’t write straight through. I’ll write a scene that may end up in the last chapter, than write a scene that may end up in the first chapter.

That’s another thing, I never write a full chapter at once, I write in scenes here and there than string them together later. My finished work rarely has chapters. I just don’t use them, for whatever reason, no idea what the reason is.

I’ve been writing the same series since 1978, so I have about 75 characters fully fleshed out and any one of them could get grabbed and thrown in as the main character. The series covers the life of a single family starting in the 1300’s right up into current times, so I can use plots that will fit any of those time periods as well. Usually the stories are set in the family mansion/castle which is haunted and prone to being filled with demonic things like ghosts, vampires, etc, usually the stories are horror (often splatter punk slasher gorn), but than I’m a fool for romance and heck a few centuries of family means folks are falling in love at some point so I sometimes toss the horror theme out the window and let romance take over.

But than there’s the whole, this family ain’t human, they are aliens who crashed landed on earth centuries ago, so once in a while I just leave earth altogether and set out in space, to tell the story of the “rest of the family” back on the home planet.

Needless to say with this setting, the large cast of characters, the odd mish-mash of genres overlapping, and my hit and miss style of getting it all down on paper, it is sometimes quite amazing that I am able to string enough scenes together to create a complete story!

Of course, I’m far from a “mainstream” author and my finished work is an “acquired taste” so I’m not shooting to become a best seller in trade paperbacks here, either. I’m a niche writer, with a few devoted fans who love my stuff, but critics and mainstream readers wring their hands and roll their eyes at “the utter trash and smut” I write.

Ah, the joys of being a “smut writer”, every one loves to hate your work.

But yeah, so I get all these little quips and scenes written, than I have to piece them all together like a jigsaw puzzle and figure out what it was I intended to go where, or do I even know what is supposed to go where?

Usually I don’t, actually. But once I get it all sorted out, than I have to edit the mess into a free flowing piece. That’s the part I hate.

I so dislike editing my work. I have huge stacks of stuff I haven’t published yet, simply because I dislike editing so much that I toss it in a pile and run off the write the next story instead!

And than there’s the only thing: I’m generally a short story writer, not a novelist. When I do write novels, they aren’t actually novels, because either they end at a novella length of only 75,000 words (trad publishers consider a novel to be 90,000 – 120,000).

If I was going by NaNoWriMo standards which say a novel is 50k I’d be all set, but publishers call 50k a novella.

Oh well.

Either that, or I end up with 200,000 words of slightly connected 10k each short stories instead of a single story novel!

As a short story writer I am great! But I suck at make my novels actual be novels.

So usually I just settle for “short story collections” masquerading as novels.

But I suppose when I stop and think about it, the reason my novels always turn into short story collection, is because of the scattered up way I write the things down.

I bet if I sat down and wrote a novel from start to finish that I wouldn’t have that trouble.

Good morning Starshine! Liked this post? Looking to connect with me online? I love social networks and am on most of them. You can find me on: BloggerEtsyFaceBookGoogle+Keen,LinkedInMySpaceNaNoWriMoProBoardsScript FrenzySpoonflowerSquidooTwitterULC Ministers NetworkWordPress,and Zazzle Feel free to give me a shout any  time. Many blessings to you, may all your silver clouds be lined with rhinestones and sparkle of golden sunshine. Have yourself a great and wonderful glorious day!

~Rev. Wendy C. Allen

This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Pressand was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK’s Star Log @https://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat andhttp://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat @http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day! ~ EelKat

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Please Call FBI Agent Andy Drewer @ (207) 774-9322  

More info on what happened can be found HERE.