1.15.2010

A Writer’s Marriage

1.15.2010
I am married to writing. And like all marriages, we go through our up’s and down’s, our shimmies and our shakes. It isn’t perfect, but to throw some cheese out there, we were born to be together. From making up stories to entertain friends and family to the ubiquitous tale to get out of trouble, it’s always been there. I did manage to get out of some heat with my parents for my creative lie story telling alone.

Currently, it’s safe to say we are on a down slope. But even these times are helpful. They help in me create the appropriate mood for certain scenes that require a bit of a downer attitude or a bit of a tempered moment. In addition, it helps me appreciate those few precious moments when I it’s just me, my laptop and espresso. And yes, it’s okay to bring in props into the marriage. Some people use, well, I’m not going there, by espresso is our thing.

So, since you all are the closest to a writer’s marriage counselor(s) I know, I’d like to tell you that I have printed out my MS, and am reading it out loud and catching all kinds of little mistakes. Things that I should’ve seen before, as they were obvious enough in reading, that now I feel like an idiot and a half for not catching them earlier. Writing and I are trying to patch things up or mend them (pun intended), but these issues will have to be worked out before we can start honeymooning again.

The definite upside is that being married to writing, means that my actual wife is more like my adulteress lover. A title she may frown upon, so we shall keep this between us. It does, however, keep things interesting, fresh and exciting. Fireworks, baby. Fireworks.

Do you (or a beta reader) catch things in your writing that send your hand flying toward your forehead, with the thought of “How could I’ve been so careless?” Am I alone? Insert violin music….fade.

25 comments:

Matt

How could I have been so careless? And so uninformed? I only recently discovered the tool in Word that searches for passive voice. Probably because I do most of my writing on a Mac that doesn't have it. Still, I've managed to cut 3000 words just using that, and I'm not even halfway through editing yet.

coffeelvnmom

Yes! I wonder "How could I have been so careless?" every now and then too! And many times it's after doing what you mentioned - reading from a printed version of the WiP. (So strange how those things are missed on the computer screen!)

And to Matt... Word has a tool that searches for passive voice? I have a Mac too... guess I won't be able to take advantage of that program =(

V.M.Pettingill

I've combed through my first few chapters countless times and still encounter those minor typos or whatnots. I think this is why we sometimes need those fresh eyes (whether it be our own looking at a printed manuscript) or the eyes of a beta reader.

I also feel like I'm married to my writing and sometimes I find it hard to juggle both my husband and the writing.. I'm afraid there are some evenings when he feels neglected due to the attention my writing demands from me!

And Matt - Word as a tool that searches for passive voice?? *Runs to search for it*

Erica

Absolutely, happens all the time. It's hard to catch everything! Writing and I are kind of in the middle right now. Good Luck with the rest of your MS :o)

I'm with them. I have a mac, would love to know how to find passive voice!!

Matt

Okay everybody. If your using a PC, go under tools - spelling and grammar. Or is it grammar and spelling? Anyway...instead of doing a spell check click the little options button in the bottom corner. It brings up all kinds of delightful little ways to check how bad your writing is. I'm tellin' ya, I cut three thousand words without cutting any content.

Sorry Mac users. Mac is better in every other way. Just not this one.

Natalie L. Sin

I expect myself to do stupid stuff, so there's much less of a shock factor when I reread my stories ; )

V. S

You're not alone. I am currently experiencing the same thing while going through my first chapter.

We're going to need more than just one violin I think.

TechnoBabe

Sounds like people leaving comments on your blog are also writers. I am not much of a writer. I am a survivor and at this stage of my life I don't expect much of myself. I want some peace. I really like to read other people's blogs and I appreciate the talent displayed in the writing. So hey, I might not be a writer, but I am a reader. Feels good to know that about myself too.

Lindsey Himmler

It's a great analogy. I feel so terrible when I abandon my family in those crazy creative whirlwinds.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith

Reading aloud from a printed copy is so different from reading aloud from the screen.
My first re-edit, on Windows 2007, was hunting for passive verbs please tell me the programme couldn't have done the job for me!
Minnow - anti-cheese monitor - and I laughed. My partner did suggest I was having an affair with the keyboard - that thought was just deeply troubling! Bhaha!

Judith Mercado

"Do you (or a beta reader) catch things in your writing that send your hand flying toward your forehead, with the thought of “How could I’ve been so careless?”

Are you #@*&# kidding? The worst is when I have sent out to an agent what I thought was a polished masterpiece (yeah, that's what I thought for one delirious moment)and then discovered all the stupid things I had done. Yep, join the crowd. As for the adultery thing, don't tell my husband either, though I think he has his suspicions.

Jm Diaz

HAHA.. Silly mac users. I am ducking, because everything I say this, my wife's hand magically finds its way to the back of my head. It's Japanese voodoo, I tell you! That exists, right?

I am glad I'm not alone. Seems like we need several Violins here, indeed, V.S.

Lindsey, don;t think of your family as abandoned. They are getting a break, from you. Tell them its for their own good.

And Technobabe, though writers are welcome, readers are encouraged. Plus, anybody with techno AND babe in their name is an automatic win with me!

@Judith: your husband knows, trust me.

Travener

Editing is the key to good writing. I'll bet Shakespeare caught bone-headed errors in his first drafts.

Elisabeth

I'm new to your blog, JM Diaz, and resonate with what you write here.

I can go over and over a draft and still find mistakes in it well after the event. Hence the need for external editing.

I look forward to reading more on your turbulent marriage.

Unknown Mami

I wake up in the middle of the night because sometimes I realize I made a stupid mistake.

Amber Tidd Murphy

Oh, not me.

I am married to my husband and writing is one of my many mistresses. Uh, misters.

Anyway. You get the point. I'm cheating on him with words.

Kristi Faith

Constantly am I smacking myself. Especially when it's something so simple...I'm good at writing complicated sentences that could have been only four words. I see those and totally have that "DOH" moment!

Southpaw

Oh, I have held my head in shame many o' times.
Great post!

Tara McClendon

I once had a friend catch that my character's dyed hair was dead. Yep. I'd used "died." D'oh.

Corra McFeydon

Hi Jm ~

I see so many mistakes once the manuscript is printed - or once I read it aloud. It's strange what I don't see as I go. And then I put it up for critique and MORE mistakes are revealed. :)

This is just a quick note to let you know I left you an award at my blog:

from the desk of a writer

All the very best,
Corra :)

Sierra Godfrey

Yeah I catch things ALL THE TIME and I've stopped beating myself up about it. I've been working pretty much without break on my novel for a year and a half--editing and revising for most of that--and I still have sloppy things to clean up.

What I don't accept is when my readers or critiquers are unkind about that, and make rude or insulting comments. I'm not overly sensitive, but we all make mistakes. And just because I could have written a passage a wee bit tighter (and will, when I get to it) does not make me a bad writer.

Sierra Godfrey

And Matt, holy KRAKOW on the passive voice thing. Unbelievable. Doing a search for it now.

Concord Carpenter

You are not alone! I've given up.

Kathy

No, I'm perrfecct.

Jessica Hill

Yes, this happens ALL the time to me. I especially hate it because most of the errors I find in my writing are the ones that annoy me the most... you know, I'll be typing away and next thing I know there's a "their" instead of "there" on the page. Ugh.

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