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Some flisters (and my GF) have commented about me "editing while I'm writing," which of course in common wisdom is supposed to be a bad idea that leads to writer's block and dysfunctional hovering over isolated bits of story instead of plunging onward. Which I think is true, during the first draft. You just want to belt it out and get in the "flow." But I'm working on the second draft, and most of the words I'm hovering over are words I wrote last year. The idea in the second draft, for me, is to move beyond the stiff, perfunctory language I wrote the first draft in. Find words that allow the reader to be in the story, not get thrown out of it by awkward grammar, or repetitive phrasing.

My main goal, though, is to find the soul of the story. What I'm "really trying to say." Knock away the bits until the story in my head emerges. So much of what I wrote in the first draft just didn't get there. Because I plunged on even when I was unhappy with what I'd written. To get that draft out on pixels.

If what I'm doing now is "editing," then that's what's on the plate.

I am continuing the first person technique. My writing is So Much Better. I'm writing like I know I can write.

11028 / 15000 words. 74% done!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 15th, 2013 03:13 am (UTC)
Honestly, I always found it easier to write after editing. Read and improve the previous chapter or the current chapter up to the point where I left off, and my mind was back in gear in terms of tone and where things needed to head. The worst thing was finishing a chapter before bed and then trying to start cold the next day on a new chapter.
Apr. 15th, 2013 04:14 pm (UTC)
That's one of the benefits of editing-as-you-compose. Sometimes, you simply can't move on to new material until you "fix" the old material to be consistent with a change of vision you have in mind for the new stuff.

Plus, when I edit and I like the way the previously-written stuff now sounds compared to how it read before the edits, that increases my enthusiasm for writing and helps me get into the new material to come.
Apr. 15th, 2013 10:38 am (UTC)
Sorry to be one who made the comment! I don't think there's any right or wrong way to write, just what works for you. And I expect that most or at least many writers edit on the second draft. Sometimes the choice of a word can affect the way the rest of the sentence, paragraph, or even page or more develops. If it works, do it!
Apr. 15th, 2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
No worries.

I think working on a second draft is, by definition, "editing." I don't see how it can NOT be, unless you are scrapping the entire first draft and writing something new from scratch. In this second draft, I have moved a bunch of stuff from the first draft into subsequent books in what will be a trilogy, and I am adding in some new material that was part of my backstory notes before, but which I think will enrich the story that will make up the first book. So that stuff is new. But the rest of it, I wrote last year, and now I have to decide if it stays or goes, and if it stays, whether it stays in the form I wrote it.

Most stuff is getting a re-working and polish. The first draft I really did "belt out" without stopping to consider my word choices and some of my plot-point choices. This second draft is where the really novel forms.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )