Thursday, March 5, 2015

Whether tis Nobler to Edit as I go, or Later?

I seem to have run into a new (for me) writing problem lately. After being almost beaten to death in the latest round of editing a particularly argumentative and abusive manuscript, I find myself handcuffed during my attempt at setting down a sequel. Let me explain.

My normal method of writing usually involves a simple idea or two. I might even already know what the ending will look like. If I’m lucky, I might even (whoa, cancel “even”) have a rough glimpse of events that may happen on route to getting there. I turn on the laptop, sit down, and start playing with the keyboard. I usually have (replace “have”) to set a timer so I know enough to take a break after an hour. Words just flow out and before I know it (what do I know?) I’ve knocked off a chapter or two and it’s (not again!) time for coffee.

Not this week. I start creating, and then stop. Go back and search for those ugly words I tend to overuse (like “then”). I check religiously for really naughty “ly” adverbs, watch out for words I may have used twice on the same page, and before the paragraph is finished, it’s break time. (Sorry, I mean the time has come for a break.) I’m so confused.

How many times have I re-read the last page? I have lost count. (I’ve lost count? misplaced count?) I should be working on chapter six at my usual head-long pace. Instead, I’m still back at chapter one, page one. What am I going to do? I boasted I’d have this project done/finished/completed by year-end.

After long and serious consideration, I’m leaning toward the only solution I can think of. I may just/simply decide to ignore the rules of good/decent/adequate writing and simply/just go for it. (go for a wrap?) I believe/think the only sane solution is to write the beast down as fast as I can. Once it/the project is finished I can have a piece of dark chocolate and a glass of red wine, and commence/begin/think about editing the current monster.

How do the rest of you get through the process? Confused writers want/wish/would like to know.


Coming in May 2015:Alex in Wanderland,
The Dark Lady Trilogy
The Queen’s Pawn
The Housetrap Chronicles


Angelica Hart and Zi said...

It ain't easy, m'friend. The editing process feels like you've gone ten rounds with a pro-boxer. Which in a way is good cause that makes the manuscript shine. However, we still follow our normal process, and then search out our particular culprits after the story is in place. We use THAT too much... and THEN too much and we really like what we modestly thought our very very impressive vocabulary... which doesn't impress anyone ... amongst many, many other scripting problems... So, our thing is to do it later. BTW, great post, we related fully and giggled a lot.