Wednesday, March 26, 2014

LAYERING AS YOU GO: PART 1


I WRITE ONLY TO REWRITE. Those words were hammered into my brain at a writing workshop many years ago. Getting words on the page is the only way to reach “The End.”
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For some, “I write only to rewrite,” means blazing through a book without pause, not daring to reread or tweak a single sentence for fear of losing momentum. The goal is to “finish,” then flesh out later. For others, “I write only to rewrite” means painstakingly polishing every word, sentence and paragraph before moving on to the next.
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I’m somewhere in the middle.
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So as we head into these final days of Speedbo 2014, let’s plan that when April 1 rolls around that we’ll each take a few minutes to evaluate what worked and what didn’t work for us personally—and how we can apply what we’ve learned to the writing months ahead.
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For me, layering one sentence at a time doesn’t allow me the freedom to let my fingers fly across the keyboard as a scene unfolds in my mind nor does it radically add to my needed daily word count. On the other hand, because I have a publisher-mandated book length (only 60K), I find that when I blaze through without any “layering” at all, I have difficulty keeping track of where I am and how much room I truly have available to tell my story.
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I’ve learned the hard way that, for me, hurtling along at a bare-bones-style gallop can be deceptive. The times I’ve done that and returned to the “completed” manuscript to layer for clarification and added dimension, inevitably I discover I’ve crammed too much “story” into my story and needed layering significantly overshot my contracted word count length. I’d also underestimated the time it takes to go back to the beginning and layer an entire book.
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So, instead of having my story under control and in a fairly “clean” condition as the clock ticked toward my looming deadline, I’d be scrambling to flesh out or say bye-bye to paragraphs, scenes and entire chapters in order to reshape the story to fit its mandated length. I hated thinking of the hours of over-writing that I’d done.
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That’s why layering as you go works best for me.
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Since I only have 60-90 minutes to write each morning, if I meet my daily word count goal and have a little time remaining, I pause to layer what I’ve written. Or, when I can, I carve out 15-20 minutes in the evening or maybe a little time on the weekends to exercise my layering muscles. Although when I reach “The End” I do reread, trim and layer further, I have a much cleaner product to work with and feel more in control of the story and my time.
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So what IS this “layering” I’m talking about that can add significantly to word count?  For me, it’s taking a bare bones narrative or unbroken stretches of internal/external dialogue and enriching it, making it come alive.
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Layering can include (but isn’t limited to):
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- Clarifying speaker attribution. (Have you ever been reading along in a book and gotten tripped up on who is talking?).
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- Authenticating the setting.
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- Controlling the pacing.
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- Focusing on the senses: seeing, hearing, taste, touch, smell.
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- Providing body movement and facial expression.
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- Adding emotional triggers.
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- Weaving in internal dialogue and character “voice” for deep point of view.
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- Varying sentence structure.
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- Ending a scene with turn-the-page power.
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- And yes, sometimes layering means trimming for increased impact.
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I personally find it daunting to reach The End with hundreds of barebones pages of talking heads or stretches of unbroken narrative and internal dialogue awaiting my attention as the contracted book deadline looms.
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So for me, layering as I go is, well, the way to go!
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What works for you?
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Next month we’ll take a closer look at some of the elements of layering that I’ve mentioned here. But TODAY please share with us how YOU layer your scenes! Do you write the whole book non-stop, then return to the beginning? Do you make each sentence shine before venturing on to the next? Or do you get down a barebones page, scene or chapter, then pause to layer at that point?
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Wishing you all the very best in these final days of Speedbo!!
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Glynna
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If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a copy of my April Love Inspired release, “Pine Country Cowboy,” please mention it in the comments section, then check our Weekend Edition for the winner announcement!
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Glynna Kaye’s debut book “Dreaming of Home” was a finalist in the ACFW Carol and Maggie awards, as well as a first place winner of the “Booksellers Best” and “Beacon” awards. Her 4 1/2 star “At Home In His Heart” was chosen as a Reviewers Choice finalist by national magazine RT Book Reviews. “Pine Country Cowboy,” her seventh Love Inspired book (and the sixth set in the mountain country of Arizona), is available now—and there’s a Christmas story releasing in November!
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No Place Like Home. Abby Diaz longs to reestablish a relationship with her father, so she heads to Canyon Springs, her Arizona hometown, with a painful past she can’t share with anyone. But then she’s needed to care for her young nephew. The little boy takes a shine to a happy-go-lucky cowboy, a handsome man who’s everything Abby can never have. The more time she spends with Brett, the more she realizes he’s harboring a heartache of his own. As she works on repairing family ties with her father, Abby knows that opening up to Brett is key to forging a new future...together.

127 comments:

Wilani Wahl said...

Glynna, Thank you for this post. I would love to win a copy of your book.

Since this is my first attempt at writing a novel. I have no clue about layering. i have just been writing. I am now at 16,000 words.

I have learned a lot and I have a lot more to learn I am enjoying the process and so thankful for all the encouragement and posts.

Marianne Barkman said...

Welcome, Glynna. I would love a chance to read and review your story! And I'm looking forward to all those fantastic stories that are almost finished being written...yeah, I know they need tweeking before they reach me, but am waiting...

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

This is GREAT info, Glynna.

Love that you made a list! I can do lists! :D

And wow - your new release is coming right up. Yes please.

YAY for Wilani - you're at 16K words? That's amazing. Good going...

And Marianne... Good to see you! Oh my yes... So much to do once the first words are down... I've done ZERO words for book 4, but am (occasionally) working on the planning... I'll get there. Somehow I always do.

Jenny Blake said...

Im stuck on the cake get rid of the strawberry and I want some, I meant I need some! Did I mention I need some of that cake?

Would love to be entered. I love analogies and with a big layer cake I can see there are several layers to a scene.

update I saw dr and we are reducing the new med to evening until I can handle the side effects and then upping it to mornings as well at this stage Saturday or Sunday.

Jackie said...

Hi Glynna,

Thanks for explaining layering. At the beginning of my writing day I usually look over previous section. I don't hit all the items on your list though, so this is a keeper post. Thanks so much!

Congrats on your new book. Please add my name to the drawing.

Have a great day! I still hope to finish on Friday.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Glynna, I hear you! The re-writing is the heart of the story, coming through!

I love the re-write, I feel like a composer adjusting chords, vibrato, pianissimo, woofers and tweeters, all done in a choice of verbs and reflection....

The re-write makes me smile as I feel the true story come alive, sentence by sentence.

Thank you for this straight up look at layering!!!!

This post is huge for people wanting to be successful indie authors. I can't say that enough, it's not the first draft... or the second. It's that final polish and spin that brings folks back for more.

Mary Curry said...

Thanks for this, Glynna.

I'm about to find out how I am at doing bare bones and then going back. I usually write more slowly, layering as I go, but for this project, I did a real bare bones 25,000 draft of a projected 55,000 - 60,000 word book.
Last night I sat down with my draft and the Michael Hague/Chris Vogler DVD and adjusted my story to a "proper" structure. It fit amazingly well so apparently my rush through at least had a good basic structure.

Now I'm about to double the word count with layering. W'e'll see how that goes. Your list will undoubtedly make it less stressful, so thank you!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, WILANI! 16,000 words already on a first book is fabulous! Keep up the good work! We're cheering you on!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, MARIANNE! From the sounds of the word count reports I've seen here in recent weeks, you may have your hands full reading Seeker Villager books in the not-too-distant future!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, KC & May! Yep, the book is out now--my mom said she saw it at her grocery store this week. :) I'm STILL amazed when I see my books on the shelves--being published still doesn't seem quite "real" even after 7 releases!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, JENNY! Sorry about the layer cake front and center--a little too tempting for those here on diets. I'm glad you're getting your meds adjusted...side effects can be so tricky. Hang in there!

Glynna Kaye said...

HI, JACKIE! Glad the post is of help -- and I'm cheering you on to the finish line! Sounds as if you are REAL close!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good Morning, RUTHY! I'm such a lover of the layering/texturing phase, too. That's where I try to make the story SING!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, MARY C! You've made great headway and it sounds as if you instinctively developed a strong story structure. I love that Vogler/Hauge DVD--need to get it out again and watch. I'm sure there are things I'd pick up now that I missed when I viewed it several years ago. Thanks for the reminder!

lizzie starr said...

When I first started writing, I'd barrel through then go back and bleed all over my pages. As I've learned and grown, I write slower and layer more as I go--but not necessarily in conscious effort. It just happens. I take that as a good sign.

Then I go back and bleed all over the pages. :)

And I do mean bleed. In red. I have to have a brand new red pen for every book's edit. I've tried other colors, but the work doesn't flow. So why mess with something that works?

Mary Hicks said...

Glynna, I'd love to be in the drawing for a copy of your book!

'Layering' is the perfect word for the structure of a novel. I have tried to 'race along' not worrying about anything but nailing the story down. I always end up spending more time reworking parts that end up with the right layer in the wrong place!

like everything else, we all do our best writing when we work in our unique way. :-)

Glynna Kaye said...

Good Morning, LIZZIE! I'm an old-fashioned red-pen person, too, writing ALL over my manuscript! I sit in front of a computer monitor most of the day, so printing out scenes and carrying them off to another location--red pen in hand--lets me take a fresh look at my progress from a different perspective.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello MARY H! I think it takes time to figure out what works best for us personally. Trial & error. I've tried so many different "methods" of getting the words on the page--some work for me and some don't. I add the ones that work to my writing "arsenal" and let go of the others. I just finished book #8 and am STILL learning, still experimenting, moving ever closer to a "sweet spot."

One thing I've noticed, though, is that sometimes something that worked perfectly for one book just isn't working for another. So I have to allow myself to be flexible enough to accommodate that.

Annie Rains said...

Wonderful post, Glynna!

I write from beginning to end, afraid to lose my momentum. But I like your idea of going back and layering once you've reached your daily word count or for 20 minutes at night. It would be nice not to have 80k+ of unpolished words once I reach "The End."

Golden Heart finalists are announced today! Good luck to everyone who entered!!!

Kav said...

Ooh, Glynna, love that layering list. Copy and pasting and printing and sticking it up on the wall! Thank you soooo much for that.

And don't enter me in the draw because I have it and have read it and loved it!!! Review out tomorrow.

Piper Huguley said...

Glynna,

Thanks for explaining the "Layering as you go" process. Puts a new perspective on things and I think I will try it--especially since it seems to lead to clean work for you!

Eileen said...

Glenna; love the opportunity to read and review your story. My writing time is restricted as well and I've yet to find 'how' to write and then go back to layer. Layering also adds a ton of words so I get the sense I will have to go back and cut cause at 97000 the book has grown too big for its britches.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, ANNIE! It sounds as if you've found the words-on-the-page path that works best for you--getting that word count down from beginning to end and then returning for the layering! If you CAN find some extra time in the day to do a little layering on the side, let us know how that works for you.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good Morning, KAV! I'm glad you found the list helpful! And I'm delighted you enjoyed "Pine Country Cowboy!" Thank you for writing a review, too. That's SO appreciated when someone likes your book! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, PIPER! Give layering-as-you- go a shot to see if it works for you. If it doesn't, nothing to lose! :)

Connie Queen said...

Every book I've written has been different so I'm still trying to figure out what's normal for me.

Right now I'm writing for a ms for the Killer Voices contest so I feel the need to just get it on paper and then go back and layer after it's all down. I'm hoping if I get 40k to the end, by the time I layer it will get to the 55k required word count. One day, I'd like to do exactly what you do--get my daily word count written and then go back and layer.

7 books. That's awesome, Glynna. Please toss my name into the hat.

Glynna Kaye said...

WOW, EILEEN! 97,000 words! You MAY have to do a little trimming there if you're targeting a traditional publisher--all depends on the line. Is it an historical?

Glynna Kaye said...

HI, CONNIE! Sounds as if you have a good plan for the Killer Voices competition!

Even with layering-as-you-go, I try to get my 60K story "told" at about 55K, then in the last layering go-round I easily pick up another 5K.

With every single book I learn something NEW about what works and doesn't work for me. I have a feeling this will be a life-long process!

Myra Johnson said...

Great layering checklist, Glynna. Well worth printing out and saving!

And I'm totally with you on the "layering as you go"! That's why it can take me a whole afternoon of writing to hammer out 1200-2000 words. I have found it's very hard to move forward if I'm having any second thoughts about what I've already written or if I can't find exactly the right metaphor, action descriptor, or line of dialogue. I'll also stop in the middle of a scene to quickly look up an important detail on the Internet.

What this means, of course, is that when I finish the draft and get to the real revision stage, it goes pretty fast.

Again, this is another of those areas where each writer needs to find the routine that works best for him or her.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, MYRA! I'm such a lover of the "wordsmithing" process, too.

CONGRATS again on that 4 1/2 star RT review for "Whisper Goodbye!"

Jennifer Smith said...

Thanks for this post! Great resource that I will be saving away. :) I'd love to be entered in the drawing for your book.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, JENNIFER! Thanks for stopping by--I'm happy the list might be of some help!

Glynna Kaye said...

I'm going to have to be out-of-pocket for a bit, but will stop back in later!

Keep up the good work on those word counts! Including today, only SIX more days left of Speedbo!! Make the most of them!

Mia Ross said...

Great suggestion, Glynna! I draft without editing because I'm trying to get the story down, but then I add details during the editing phase. Next time, I'll try layering in more elements the first time around and see how that works.

For now, my Speedbo project--3 chapters and synopsis--is drafted and ready for editing. That means I'll have them polished and ready to go by 4/1, which was my goal. Thanks for keeping me on track, Seekerville!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good morning, GK.

That cake is a yum!!

I layer after the scene is written. Then go back and layer again after the book is written.

I am a double layerer!!!

Myra Johnson said...

MIA! Congrats on staying on top of your Speedbo goal!

I'm afraid with my computer issues last week, I got behind on mine. Trying to make up for lost time this week (and not doing too bad so far).

Can you believe we're on the home stretch already???

Tina Radcliffe said...

And we are layering on the fun and tension today as RITA and GH calls go out.

RWA.org is slammed. Can't even get into it.

But the Twitter feed is active.

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RITAGH&src=hash

Crystal Ridgway said...

I layer in all those ways and none of them. My writing just sort of flows out in complete story form, much like it would appear in a book. I usually reread my scene at some point on the day I write it. If I notice something that needs changing, I change it. Most days I reread my final scene when I start writing for the day so I can get into the story and pick up my train of thought. When I finish the manuscript I reread it and make any changes or additions I think are needed at that time.

Yesterdays word count was 10,807
Total word count on 2nd speedbo manuscript: 63,819

Tina Radcliffe said...

WOW, just heard the news. SINCE I STILL CAN'T GET INTO THE RITA GH page.

Congrats to PIPER HUGULEY!!!

Pam Hillman said...

Pantsters close your eyes...

Having just written a novella in a couple of weeks, my process is fresh on my mind, and even though it was a novella, basically, it's the same process as my longer novels, just more compact and easier to explain.

Maybe. I hope. lol

I'm not too concerned with the bird's eye view like sentence structure, sprinkling in lots of senses, until the last few passes.

During the rough draft, and the next pass or two, I develop the overall story, making sure the plot and the characters' actions and reactions ring true all the way through.

Once I'm happy with the story, I let my CPs have a shot at it. Then I'll fix any plot issues, and resolve questions about character development.

And, finally, after that, I'll make a final pass to weave in more senses and smooth out tags or fix talking head issues so that everything flows better.

But...back up...that's the overall plan. That's not to say that I don't layer from the very beginning, and that I don't layer during each draft. It's just that I try to focus on the overall story until I'm happy with it before I concentrate fully on the minute details.

Pam Hillman said...

RITA and GH calls are today????

Whoot!!

Good luck everyone who entered! :)

PIPER!!!! Just saw Tina's shout-out! CONGRATS!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

PIPER!!!!! PIPER!!!! PIPER!!!!!!

Meghan Carver said...

I guess I didn't realize exactly what layering means, so thank you for the list. :-) When I'm working on my detailed outline, I make notes of those elements so that when I get to the first draft stage, I can weave it all together. Of course, wouldn't it be perfect if we all got it right the first time? I'm going to print your list and keep it handy to make sure I cover all the bases. I would love to be entered in the drawing. Thank you!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Yikes! Glynna! Now I'm craving chocolate cake!!! AHHHHH!

Melanie Dickerson said...

:-) I need to think more like this. I'm too much of a perfectionist as I write those first few chapters. I just want my foundation to be perfect, and I can't move on until I research stuff, tweak stuff, add stuff, etc. Sigh.

Piper Huguley said...

Thank you so much Tina,Ruthy and Pam!

The RWA site is having a really bad time of it. Someone on twitter said it's off a different place than last year, so that explains a lot.

Many of you read A Virtuous Ruby and helped it along and I appreciate that support from Seekerville so very much!

Piper Huguley said...

Congrats to Kristi Ann Hunter too! Debby Guisti did Gin Ellis critiques for us both last year on these works (I think, for Kristi's). Glad we can do her proud!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

PIPER I LOVE THAT STORY!!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!! SO EXCITED FOR YOU, HAPPY DANCING, JUMPING AROUND, LOOKING FOOLISH!!!!! NEIGHBORS MAY OR MAY NOT BE CALLING POLICE, BUT IT'S WORTH THE RISK OF ARREST TO BE THIS EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!!

Crystal Ridgway said...

Congratulations, Piper!!!!

Piper Huguley said...

Lol, Ruthy! I think your neighbors probably know you by now! They won't call the cops on you!


And everyone knows Debby Guisti! No doubt about it, GRW picked the right mentor of the year last year!

Mary Connealy said...

Controlling the pace jumped out at me, Glynna. Because on revision I almost always speed up the pace, especially but not exclusively, of action scenes. I've found making a scene MOVE required revision. You can't get it right the first time.

Mary Connealy said...

I said once, maybe to Ruthy! that I used to revise and revise and revise, maybe go through a book ten times a dozen times. Now, yes I revise but no where near as much. I was worried the books would show that, be worse for it. But she said maybe MAYBE HOPEFULLY I've gotten better and I don't need to revise a dozen times. The first pass isn't good enough but it's far from those old first drafts that lay there dead in need of desperate, emergency care to bring it to life.

Mary Connealy said...

I forgot today was Rita day. So I only thought of it just now.

I got in okay, Tina.
RITA AND GOLDEN HEART FINALISTS


But nothing listed at all in the Inspirational Rita category.

I SAW PIPER IN THE GH THOUGH YAY!

Jan Drexler said...

I love this list, Glynna!

I tend to layer a little as I go, reviewing the previous day's writing before jumping into the next scene. But I save most of it for the revision stage. I'm just enough of a panster that something will come up while I'm writing, so I'll go back and layer that idea in at the end.

And I'd love to be entered in the drawing!

Courtney Phillips said...

My writing process has changed in the past couple of months, but I don't think I could ever write straight through without editing. Like you,the thought of returning to an entire manuscript full of extreme errors is overwhelming.
Right now, I finish a chapter, send it to my crit partners, and revise when they send their comments. That has been working well. Makes the task of writing a novel seem less daunting!
Great post!

Connie Queen said...

Congratulations Piper!!!
So happy for you.

Myra Johnson said...

YAY PIPER!!!!!! So thrilled for you!!!! Congratulations on the GH final!!!!

Mary Curry said...

Congratulations, Piper. SO excited for you.

I got into the RWA site. So far the only RITA inspirational listed is Carla Laureano's Five Days in Skye.

Jana Vanderslice said...

Thank You Gynna! Please put me in the drawing!

I've had SpeedBo withdrawal, & I've missed yall! I was in the hospital Sunday. Then my dad had a heart cath with complications, & he's been in the hospital since then. I’ve been here with him. Today he is better! Thank You LORD!

WILANI WAHL! Way to Go! Keep it up, my friend!

PIPER HUGULEY!! Ohhhh WOWWWW!!! I can’t wait to read it!

(These next 2 shout outs are from last weekend that I couldn’t post. Hospital wifi here is sketchy!)

EMILY NEYER!!! Keep Going! You can TOTALLY Do This! I was a teacher & school counselor, and I understand the Craziness of it! You are Amazing! I know you'll find a way!

RUTHY!!! Get some black electrical tape & tape an extra key in the wheel well on some metal pole thingy in there (I'm not a car kind of person, but did that make any sense at all??). Just keep wrapping the tape around & around the key until the key is completely covered. Then you have an extra key anytime you need it.
My dad did that for me when I started driving, & I've used that trick many, many times!! :) :)

Glad to be back! Happy Productive Day Everyone!
“Please don’t squander one bit of this Marvelous Life God has given us!” 2 Cor 6:1

Piper Huguley said...

Thank you so much Mary Connealy, Myra, Jan, Mary Curry, and Jana! I appreciate the support. Seekerville is awesome!


Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Glynna, Sorry I'm late this morning. Not much help today. sigh.

Great article and advice I am going to take to heart. It makes sense to get all that layering in at the start. So what a great goal. Get 1000 words in and then layer them.

Have a great day. Spring is on its way in spite of these recent glitches in weather. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yay PIPER. Congrats. Happy dancing. So thrilled for you.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jana, that's a great idea.

I've thought of that before.

I've never followed through and DONE IT, Jana...

sigh....

But it's a great idea. And did I mention that I locked myself out of the HOUSE the same morning? In my socks? And had to run through the pouring rain and puddles because the SECRETLY HIDDEN KEY is to a different door??????

WET FEET.

Oy. oy. oy.

Natalie Monk said...

Great post, Glynna!!

I layer in a lot after the first draft. Sometimes too much, so I have to watch things that way.

I love what you said about your speedy draft having "too much story" for the required word count. I'm leaning in that direction as well. I'm sure there are areas needing to be trimmed, though.

What a lovely book cover! I love that storyline. I recently read a general market book with some of the same elements, but was disappointed with its less than tasteful content. Now I'm so happy to see this blurb of Pine Country Cowboy! I'll be putting this on the wishlist!

Vince said...

TMI Alert!

Hi Glynna:

Very interesting and needed post.

I might add that while ‘layering' seems to be a popular analogy, I believe it is the wrong visual to use for best understanding.

Image one layer going on top of another layer on top of still another layer. This picture does not seem right for what is really happening.

I like to think in terms of ‘passes’. I also like the gardening model.

First pass, weed.
Get rid of bad stuff and mistakes.

Second pass, prune.
Cut back on the good stuff that you don’t need. Less is more. Is there a little ‘side garden’ that, while beautiful in its own right, detracts from the overall experience of the organic whole?

Third pass, fertilize.
Enrich the soil of the reading experience. These treats reward a reader’s interest. This food makes the flowers bigger and more colorful.

Fourth pass, orient.
Arrange things for the best sun exposure. Is this scene or paragraph where it needs to be for the best exposure. Which paragraphs need to be in direct sunlight and which in the shade?

Fifth pass, foundation.
Is there good drainage? Is the soil right for supporting the growing plants?

Sixth pass, color variety.
Are the right colors in the right sections of the garden? Is there visual variety? Is the dialogue rich and unique to each character? Do you have four characters with names beginning with 'C'?

Seventh pass, longitudinal continuity.
Over the passage of the seasons is there always something coming into bloom or will there be a dull ‘sagging middle’ at the end of August?

Eight pass, pace.
Is there always something different coming into bloom to freshen the visual impression as each week goes by? Does the garden look new and refreshing each week or does it become invisible over time?

Ninth pass, conflict.
Is the total design static and hum-hum? Or is it dynamic with interesting, pleasing, and unpredictable patterns of ever changing design? Did you plant insect repelling flowers along the edges of the garden? Do they foreshadow coming conflicts with the insects?

Tenth pass, watering.
Make sure the soil does not dry out as time goes on. You must keep adding the water of life to your story. Readers are thirsty for the good stuff. Get it to them soon than they anticipate.

Eleventh pass, multi-leveling.
Are your plants all the same height? Is there something to visually enjoy at ground level, at a foot high, at three feet high, and seven feet – even if hanging baskets are required? Can your story be read and enjoyed at different levels? As a romance? As a psychological novel? As an instantiation of a philosophical belief? As all these at once?

Twelth pass, impact.
After taking in the full beauty of the garden, does the emotional experience leave a meaningful impact? Was it a ‘stop and smell the roses’ experience? Would you want to see more gardens like this one?

I could go on but I’ve been avoiding doing my real work this morning long enough. Now it is back to my dreaded endless editing. I’ve made so many passes I need to install a turnstile. It is more fun writing about editing than editing actually is.

Missy Tippens said...

Glynna, this is a great idea. I've done the same thing, over-shot my word count when I went back to add layering.

I like the idea of doing a little each day! Right now, I tend to do a bit of that, maybe a chapter at a time.

It's hard for me to plow through without re-reading. It's too tempting. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Vince, "passes" works for me as well! But goodness, I'm worn out from reading all those passes. ;)

Missy Tippens said...

CONGRATS TO PIPER ON THE GH CALL!!!

Celebrating with you!

Missy Tippens said...

Mary, I used to go through my books about 10-12 times, too. Now I just don't have time, so I have to be more efficient. I can only hope I'm getting better at first drafts! Of course, my cp's might say differently. :)

DebH said...

HOORAY FOR PIPER!!!

it's too fun watching as different S-villagers gain recognition. i've been watching the progression of different people and find it very encouraging.

me? just plodding along, getting into the habit of writing every day. focus? another story, but I'm taking the baby steps... well, except for that dad-gummed synopsis in prep for the KV contest (if I get past first round, that is...). i think my fear is the synopsis will reveal i don't really have a story *sigh*

only 100 words on monday (killer headache from bonking head on car door ducking from rain *duh moment*)
900 words tuesday
*shuffle shuffle SPEEDBO shuffle*

DebH said...

okay, brain lock. too busy being happy for Piper to comment on today's post. *eep*

love the laying idea. not sure how I really write yet, but will keep this in mind. too many words has never been a problem before.

would love to be in the draw for the book.

DebH said...

er. LAYERING, not laying.
fat finger keyboard problems today *sigh*

Pat W said...

Glynna, Thanks for the expanding my knowledge of layering!! I needed to know more. Very timely post.

Congrats to Piper!!

Myra Johnson said...

MISSY, I have to agree--I really have to do combinations of the types of "passes" VINCE lists, or I'd never finish editing!

But those are all vital areas we need to be looking for in revisions, VINCE!

Janet Dean said...

Glynna, Thanks for this post and the wonderful list of ways to layer our scenes until they sing.

Ruthy's technique of revising what she wrote the previous day before starting new is a great way to get into the story.

I've never written a barebones scene, must less chapter and book, but I am trying to not get so hung up on revising that I don't add significant words.

Janet

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, MIA! Congrats on getting that proposal shaped up and ready to go by April 1. Good job!

Glynna Kaye said...

TINA! Another double-layerer!

Janet Dean said...

Hey, Missy, this CP won't say differently. You are getting better! I think we all do.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Congrats, Mia!

Congrats on the GH final, Piper!

Tossing confetti in the air. Seekerville is a great place to celebrate!

Janet

Glynna Kaye said...

CRYSTAL -- boy, have your fingers ever been flying over that keyboard! I don't think I've ever written 10K in one day!

Debby Giusti said...

I've enjoyed learning how everyone writes this month! Thanks, Glynna, for sharing your work routine. I may start doing more daily layers so I don't end up with a huge chunk of work that needs, well, work! LOL!

I've realized that using a period of time instead of word count is better for me. Perhaps because I use my Alpha, which doesn't provide a word count. Time is an easier way to determine if I'm staying focused and on schedule.

Got your book last week at Kroger. So glad to see they'll selling LI books again. Always wonderful to see a Seeker name on the shelves.

Also got Tina's Woman's World issue. Read her delightful story last night. So good!

Glynna Kaye said...

CONGRATULATIONS, PIPER!!!

Glynna Kaye said...

Sounds as if you have a good "system" going there, Pam! I'm looking forward to reading that novella!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, MEGHAN! Wise woman to keep notes as you write so you know where you want to return to flesh out your story!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, MELANIE! Even though I don't write historical as you do, I'm always typing notes to myself in my manuscript--in parentheses in RED--"double-check on this," "research this," "need different word," "elaborate on this," and stuff like that which helps me spot "gaps" that need to be addressed later.

Glynna Kaye said...

MARY -- Your books are always so fast paced, moving forward all the time. So you're definitely doing something right!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, Jan! Looks like you're among several of us who like to review/layer scene by scene!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey, COURTNEY! You have a good practice there--chapter by chapter critiquing! I imagine your manuscript is pretty "clean" by the time you reach The End.

Glynna Kaye said...

WELCOME BACK, JANA! So sorry to hear of the medical issues. Maybe you can have your very own Speedbo NEXT month! Just let us know and we'll be cheering you on!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, SANDRA! You have to do what works for YOU! As you know, each writer has to find his/her own path to "Best." :)

Glynna Kaye said...

HI, NATALIE! Yes, sometimes I've WAY overshot my word count. I'm a "planster," so I do a combo of plotting and pantsing, but it's the pantser in me that gets me in trouble sometimes when I'm writing fast and not watching my word count closely! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Oooooh, great analogy, VINCE! As a gardener, I can especially relate to it.

Good luck on your editing!

Glynna Kaye said...

MISSY -- I'm glad to hear I'm not the ONLY one who's overshot the word count. I'm a single title writer by nature, so my brain gets in that mode and forgets it is limited to 60K! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

DebH -- Sorry you hit your head so hard!! OUCH. No wonder you had a headache! And don't feel bad about "plodding" -- remember the tortoise can still reach the finish line!

Glynna Kaye said...

PAT W -- Glad you found the post helpful!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, JANET! You write so beautifully, so don't mess TOO much with an already good thing! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, DEBBY! I'm enjoying hearing how everyone writes, too. I'm always looking for new ideas to try out.

Glad you were able to find my book! I'm always on the look out for books by Seekers and Seeker Villagers. It's amazing that it's rare that a month goes by without finding at least ONE new book out! This place is getting pretty prolific!

Piper Huguley said...

Thank you Connie, Missy, Pat W and Deb H! We are are learning and growing in Seekerville, Deb H. Many here know Ruby as my 'wild child' and its great to be in such a supportive place. Stay with it, Deb!

Crystal Ridgway said...

Glynna,
10K is quite a rarity for me too. In the nine months I've been writing, I've only hit a word count of that extreme a few times. And if I hadn't been off the computer for a week while I packed for my upcoming move, I wouldn't have gotten such a high count. If it wasn't so much work, I'd say moving would be a good thing when it ends up allowing me a thrilling word count at the end of the day!

Piper Huguley said...

Thank you Janet and Crystal! I appreciate your support!

Piper Huguley said...

Glynna,

I am not trying to hog your thread, but thank you so much! :)

Mark Abel said...

Hi Glynna. Thanks for your post which is very good. I'm writing my first novel and had been layering as I progressed thinking I needed more pages and word count. My writing style is that of a Pantster so I am letting the story unfold and tell itself as I go. However, at 75% complete I now see that my problem is too many pages and words. I will likely need to do a lot of pruning when I go back to edit the first draft.

For now I plan to press on until it's complete and then get out the shears. I appreciated also the comments from Vince describing editing passes, as opposed to layering, however 10 passes seems like a lot.

Elaine Manders said...

Hi Glynna

Very thought provoking post. Both methods work in rewriting and neither is easy. I can't say how many rewrites it takes me since I'm still in the process.

Passed 48K in my WIP and have the last 6 chapters already written, so that leaves one or two to go. I write first drafts tight and add 10-15K in layering, so my word count is working out OK. This is a long historical.

So proud of my critique partners. Piper is again a GH Finalist and Natalie recently placed in GE. I need to stop writing new stuff long enough to get one ready to submit.

Mary Curry said...

Glynna, I meant to tell you that my B&N had your book this week! I meant to take a picture, but I forgot. Sorry.
I'm so happy that B&N is stocking LI again, though I wish they would also have the LIS and LIH books.

LoRee Peery said...

Glynna, in the past I have printed what I wrote that day and edited, including layering on various levels in the evening. I will layer as I edit my rough draft.
And tada! I reached my word count set for March 31.
Thank you, Speedbo and Seekers, for this change in my process. Come April 1st I'll be brainstorming titles. Oops, nope, I'm putting away the draft for a couple weeks.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Enjoyed the post, Glynna, and will look for Part 2. Even though I'm not doing Speedbo have been reading the articles when I can and been encouraged by everyone's progress with their word count. Kudos to you all. Congratulations to Piper. So excited for her, too.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Enjoyed the post, Glynna, and will look for Part 2. Even though I'm not doing Speedbo have been reading the articles when I can and been encouraged by everyone's progress with their word count. Kudos to you all. Congratulations to Piper. So excited for her, too.

Dianna Shuford said...

Hi Glynna! Great post. Constructively reviewing how we each work, to me, is essential. I've learned the hard way that everyone's writing style is different.

When I first started writing, I was counseled to speed write through because everything could be fixed in revisions. My problem was that when I had pushed through the story, not only was my enthusiasm for that story gone since the ending had been written, but I was so overwhelmed with revisions I didn't know where to begin. That story still isn't revised to this day.

Since that time I've learned that I work best if I outline my story, then write a chapter at a time, revising and layering as I go. Then, when I reach the end, revisions are at a minimal and most of what needs to be done is editing. That's what works for me!

As a result, during Speedbo my word count hasn't been as high as it could have been, but I've gotten chapters written that are better laid out and will take less time to polish.

And I would love the chance to read your book.

Cara Lynn James said...

Hi, Glynna! I always say go for whatever works for you. It's interesting that we all work in such different ways.

CatMom said...

Excellent post, Glynna - - and very timely as I'm revising a manuscript right now and will definitely need some layering. Another post for my Keeper File!
Can't wait to read your Pine Country Cowboy (but I plan to purchase it!).
Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

p.s. Oh my---that cake at the beginning of your post looks SO YUMMY!!

Glynna Kaye said...

HI, AGAIN, PIPER! No need to apologize. :) Seeing the gals and guys here succeed and celebrating with them is what Seekerville ALL about!!!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, MARK! Congrats on hitting that 75% mark on your first novel! When you finish it, you'll be able to better evaluate what worked best for you and know what can be applied to the SECOND one most successfully. To me, that's one the of the great beauties of writing--growing and learning as I go.

Glynna Kaye said...

CRYSTAL -- Maybe you can just TELL your subconscious that you're moving and trick it into giving you another 10K day!

Glynna Kaye said...

WOW, ELAINE! You're making fabulous progress! You can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel now! Such a wonderful feeling, isn't it?

Glynna Kaye said...

MARY C -- Thanks for letting me know that B&N is carrying my book! Some Barnes & Noble stores faithfully carry the whole line, but my local B&N doesn't carry ANY Love Inspired. :(

I'm delighted, though, to already be receiving letters from LI subscribers who enjoyed "Pine Country Cowboy!" When you send your book out into the "cold cruel world," you always wonder if it will touch readers' hearts.

Glynna Kaye said...

LoRee! We're happy dancing that you've already reached your Speedbo goal! CONGRATULATIONS!

Glynna Kaye said...

PAT - I'm glad you've been hanging out with us this month even though you weren't able to jump into Speedbo this round (but remember, there's always NEXT year!). Thank you for cheering everyone on!

Glynna Kaye said...

DIANA - It's so wonderful, isn't it, when you figure out what works best for YOU? Sometimes writers hit their best method right out of the gate, but for others (like me) it took trial land error until I finally found that "sweet spot." It sounds as if you had a similar journey.

I didn't break any speed records this month either, but I feel that what I've written on my next proposal is quality and a good foundation for moving ahead and writing the rest of the book.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, CARA! Naughty girl -- you didn't share what works best for YOU! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, PATTI JO! Glad you found the post helpful -- good luck on your manuscript revisions! (And thank you, too, for buying my book!)

Audra Harders said...

Glynna, I love the way your mind works. You've developed a method of writing that produces winners of each book that comes out. YAYAYAY!!

I've tried layering as I go, and find I over write. I try to stop about 15K before the final word count, that way I've typed THE END and can sculpt my way through the story again and give it life.

Glynna, you're amazing. A demanding job, hostile winters, and you still create beautiful books that tell beautiful stories.

Olivia said...

Not a great day..up al nightt with stomach flu. On the mend so we will see about writing tomorrow. Please enter me in the drawing for your book.

Mary Preston said...

Very interesting thank you.

I'd love to read PINE COUNTRY COWBOY thanks.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, AUDRA! Your layering "method" certainly works for YOU! Your stories come alive--I love the western authenticity you weave into them. You know real-life cowboys and the cowboy culture and it shines through.

Glynna Kaye said...

OLIVIA -- I hope you're feeling MUCH better today. Flu is NO fun.

Glynna Kaye said...

MARY P -- Thanks for stopping by. Your name is in the Stetson, or the kitty dish or whatever it is we're drawing winners from these days! :)

Olivia said...

Thanks doing better!