Silencing the Self Editor

Finally, after several months of work I am reaching the end of The Silver Ninja 2: Indoctrination rough draft. I would have liked to have had the rough draft finished sooner, but there were a few books I needed to read and learn from, before tackling this much bigger and more complex story.


And boy is it complex.


And when you write a complex storyline with more depth and character development, you start to lose track of what’s going on, who said what, and inevitably, you start editing before you complete the rough draft. According to most successful authors both past and present, this is a big no no. I wish I could say I disagree and explain why my viewpoint is correct, but, alas, I am still learning the ropes to writing. But why do they say not to edit and revise your writing before it becomes a first draft or a rough draft? Well this quote from Richard Bach should explain it:


“It took time to learn that the hard thing about writing is to let the story write itself, while one sits at the typewriter and does as little thinking as possible. It happened over and over again, and the beginner learned—when you start puzzling over an idea, and slowing down on the keys, the writing gets worse and worse.”


Link to the article: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/06/are-you-over-thinking-your-first-draft.html


Essentially, the constant over-thinking, over-analyzing, over-fixing will bog your story down in the mud. The wheels will spin, mud will fly, and when the engine finally gives out, you realize that you’re still in the same place where you started. Only the hole is deeper and the mud is harder to get out of.


If I’m gonna be honest, after getting skewered on certain reviews for The Silver Ninja, it has been difficult for me to resist editing every single word I write. But the best selling authors are right, you do need to finish the rough draft before you can edit anything, and it’s way more fun than editing anyway. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of obsessing over every word placement, every sentence, every plot twist, and next thing you know you’ve lost all energy to write. It basically becomes counter productive to write your way to perfection straight out of the gate.


So, with great reluctance, I have continued writing without going back to fix or change plot elements or grammatical errors. Maybe I’ll fix the glaring typo here and there or correct some dialogue, but never do I edit more than that. I gotta say, just writing like I just don’t care has made the story much better. Though, I’m pretty sure I’ll be whistling a different tune once I realize that I’ve written myself into a tangled web of complicated plot threads. But as it stands right now, I’m really pleased with how the story has come out, aaaannnnd… I may have written in a teeny, tiny adult scene if ya know what I mean?


So what’s going to happen when it’s time to clean this mess? Aha, that my dear friends, is where my ace up the sleeve comes into play.

This is where the value of the Snowflake Method and Scrivener really start to pay off. You may not remember, but a few months ago I purchased the Snowflake method application to help organize my scenes, characters, and synopsis. Scrivener can do almost the same thing, but the difference is that Snowflake takes you through the process step by step, whereas in Scrivener expects you to organize and assemble your workflow.


Every crazy plot thread that happens from my writing ramblings is written down in the Snowflake program which keeps track of a huge scene list for me. I can rename scenes, renumber them, all with the press of one button. It’s a wonderful supplement to Scrivener and wow, poor MS Word is definitely on hiatus for now.


So… that being said, do you want to know what’s been cookin’ behind the scenes? I’ll tell ya a little bit without going into spoiler territory.


The basic gist is that the events from book 1 have carried over into book 2 and they are quite disastrous. For starters, the situation with Cindy’s marriage has gotten much worse. So much so, that it’s almost like she’s living with a stranger who can’t stand the sight of her. And it’s at this point where one of the big changes is happening in my book.


Jonas, who was often considered as one-dimensional, is now going to have a lot of depth added to him in this book. Cindy and Jadie are still going to be the stars of the show, but this time her supporting cast is going to be much stronger. Also, and this may be subject to change. It takes quite a while before Cindy dons The Silver Ninja™ suit again. This is another change that may or may not turn off readers, but I felt that it was really important for me to take my time in developing the characters, so that the readers would care about them.


The new villain who was hinted at in book one will finally be making an appearance, and I cannot freaking wait. This new antagonist is going to be a worthy challenge for Cindy. Unlike the last book’s antagonist, this villain knows how to hurt Cindy beyond the physical and wants to hurt her. But what I love the most about this character is that the motive, the motive for why this person wants to kill Cindy, will be something anyone can relate to. I am ridiculously excited about this character and I cannot wait for you all to read about em.


I wish I could talk more about what’s going on in this book, but I have to save all the juicy bits for when it’s published! Will keep you all updated as I wrap up this rough draft.


Back to writing.

Wilmar Luna

One Response to “Silencing the Self Editor”

  1. K.M. Weiland says:

    Thanks so much for the link! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Writing that next novel, after your first one has been published, can be rough. Knowing we have a (critical) audience reading every word only makes us that much more self-conscious.