Monday, March 31, 2008

Critical vs Creative

I want to draw attention to 2 things my co-bloggers said in recent blogs: Kimber Chin said she was shamelessly promoting her book Breach of Trust which coincidentally comes out the same time as my historical romance, Flower of Passion; May 1st. I disagree, not shameless at all! [& thanks for leaving that promo door open for me, Kimber]

Then there was what Michael Davis, author of Tainted Hero said: He hates the editing process. Which happens to be the feelings of a whole lot of writers. I'm just the opposite. I love it. I love tightening up those run-on sentences. Adding description that draws a reader into the story. Love finding that gem of a sentence and polishing it until it literally shines, then reading it again and saying, "Wow, did I really write that?"

It's the 1st part, getting the story out of my head & onto the computer screen that I hate.

That's because the 2 halves of my brain are almost always in conflict. The creative half needs to come first, but the critical half keeps putting its 2 cents in before its turn. In other words, my muse is constantly being interrupted. I've tried lots of ways to get the critical side to shut up and wait its chance. I even have a big, colorful sign that says "Internal editor out to lunch." I hang it above my computer when I'm working on a 1st draft. So far, it hasn't worked. Maybe it doesn't eat.

I'd love to leash the critical side until I'm ready for it. How wonderful it would be to translate the images in my head into the computer without a gazillion interruptions! At that point, who cares if I've misspelled something or if that comma should be a semicolon, that period a question mark?

So if anyone has a way of quieting the critical brain [short of surgery] to allow the creative brain to flow, please share!!!

Rose Lerma


Kimber Chin said...

LOVED this post! It had me laughing my head off.

My first draft is really a rush to get everything down on paper. I have a pre-editor to fix up my grammar errors but she can't edit something that hasn't been written.

Once I have that first draft done, then I can go back, take my time, and edit.

Some people write and edit in two different places of the house (if you're doing it on a laptop) or they dress differently or have some other physical clue.

Ciara Gold said...

Rose, when you learn the secret, pass it on. I, too, am constantly editing as I write. I want it to read well from the very beginning or I get stumped.

Litlove said...

Actually, I have a little thing that seems to work. I find treating the inner critic like an over-eager, over-anxious employee helps. So whenever the critical voice breaks in, I say to it, thank you, that may well be something I'll consider later, but for now the remark isn't appropriate. Or some such comment. Just, 'thank you, but not now' does the trick. I figure that part of your brain means well, it's just got a little above itself!

Candace Morehouse said...

One thing I try to do to appease the editing beast is to write one day and the next I'll go back over what I've written and clean it up a bit, then continue on. In this way, I always have a mss. that is fairly clean and the beast doesn't rear his ugly head quite so often!

Tara said...

I can't remember how I found this post, but I'm thankful that I did. I too love the editing and revision stage. This month I'm trying to finish up a word count goal I made for myself almost a year ago, yet all I want to do is get reading and polishing. I can't wait to have that "did I write this" feeling again. Two weeks to go...Thanks for the motivation.