Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The Frantic Perfectionist - Editing on the Fly
So today was actually pretty exciting writing wise.
I got out of my second period class as there was a play of sorts going on that I was unable to attend. Since class was practically canceled, I jumped at the chance to write for about an hour and a half.
As I'd written on Chapter Ten of TCOH ("Imaginary Chains" is the tittle if you care lol) earlier in the week and forgot to move the file to my jump drive I decided to knock out some of this short story I've been wanting to write.
I sat down, flipped open the outline, decoded my horrible handwriting, and started to write.
I busted out about half a page before the story stalled. This is pretty typical for me when I'm writing a story that I don't have a detailed vision for. Basically, if I don't know the next few chapters, I stall pretty often. My un-stucker is pretty simple--read through what I just wrote.
This is a pretty effective strategy or me, and I know for many of you as well. Just reminding myself of where the story is going, what the pacing actually reads like, etc really helps boost my creativity and drive. It really gets the gears turning. I start seeing new things in the scene, where it could go, what's actually happening. The only downside is....
I start writing wherever I feel like.
Basically, I'm an addictive editor.
I must have added around 200 words before I got back to my original "stalling" point. And after I knocked out a few more paragraphs, I redid the cycle and added a couple hundred more through edits.
I get advice from writers all the time: don't edit on the fly, it slows you down, etc etc. But I disagree. For me, this tactic works.
Now, obviously, I don't go through and fix every grammatical mistake, every vague description, etc. Save that for the editing rounds. But I do go back and smooth things out, add plot details here, mostly I slow things down.
Maybe I just want the story to be perfect and am not willing to wait til it's all finished :-)
What about you? Do you have a problem editing on the fly? Is this effective? Or are you better at just throwing it all out there and sifting through it later?
To the end,