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What writing wastes your time?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Butterfly, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    One of the things I find that wastes time in my writing is numbering the chapters. Inevitably, some of the story threads will change during writing, which will call for the insertion, or deletion, or shifting around of chapters. It means I then have to go through them renumbering each and every one of them. on both the master script, the individual saved chapters, and the file name to each of them. This has happened to me numerous times...

    For my next book, I am going to postpone the numbering of my chapters until at least the first draft is finished. They'll still have titles, but it should mean I can shift them a lot quicker than I am at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  2. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I'm not sure I'd call that writing so much as formatting. And, yes, it's perfectly acceptable to leave formatting for the end. I don't, but I'm also crazy-retentive.
     
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  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Even titling chapters is a chore for me. But I don't regard *any* writing as a waste of time. It's all writing. At some point, some editor is going to tell me to cut something I thought sure was a winner, and the miserable wretch will be right.

    So I don't think about titles until the work is done, at least first-draft-done. Where I really despair is when I have a work I think is good but I can't come up with a title for it. A stinky chapter title is one thing, but a stinky book title can be a disaster. Hey, editor, *you* think of one!
     
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  4. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

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    I love naming chapters. I've had several different methods. The first novel I ever finished featured a corporate bible called The Way, and every chapter was named after an aphorism from The Way. My next two novels had chapter titles pulled from the text within the relevant chapter - just some pithy and apposite encapsulation from the text was turned into a chapter title.

    My book coming out in September takes this technique a step further by naming each chapter from a pithy and apposite encapsulation from a different chapter, which both enhances the mystery and emphasises the internal connectedness of the whole.

    At this point I revert to my usual advice and say: don't ever forget that everything you do is a chance to entertain and win more fans. This includes naming your chapters.
     
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  5. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I wish I was cool enough to name my chapters like that. My chapter names are quite plain - Chapter 1, Chapter 23, etc. Maybe I should take a closer look at this?
     
  6. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    I try to get the chapter title down to one word. Most times it's hard, and is one more thing that constantly changes as the drafting progresses.
     
  7. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

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    If you're worried about chapter numbering and renumbering, why not just use "Chapter 1.5" for a new chapter inserted between 1 and 2, until final numbering when it can all be redone. Then if you decide to insert another new chapter between chapter 1 and chapter 1.5, you can call it chapter 1.2 and so on.
     
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  8. Tirjasdyn

    Tirjasdyn Scribe

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    I don't find any writing wastes my time. All is practice. However I use a program called ywriter which, when I move chapters around, I can just click a menu item and it renumbers the chapters for me. Formatting for final draft and submission is a pain but not something that I consider writing so much as editing.
     
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  9. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    Excellent idea... and should keep it all in order too.
     
  10. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    I know this now... wish I'd known it sooner.
     
  11. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    Although, I think I should have been a bit more specific with the question. I was looking for things beyond the actual writing of words relating to a story and more towards the things we do in the background, so to speak, but still related to writing, or producing something.

    Another thing I find that steals time are spreadsheets. They are useful in tracking what I have done on any given day, and in seeing what I still need to do, but I find myself updating them every 200/300 words. I will have to limit the updating to maybe once an hour or something...
     
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