Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Apr. 29th, 2009

Do you find it best to edit as you go, or wait until you've finished a first draft what you're working on, and then go back and edit?
In theory, I like to finish a draft, and then go back and edit. But I change plot lines all the time and have to edit these new details in as I go along. But it takes forever to get anywhere with the story!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
when i first tried my hand at writing the NaNo WriMo, I thought, write the draft, pump out the 50k words and then edit.
You don't take into consideration for muses deciding to clock you upside the head with a plot twist so huge you wouldn't have seen it coming!

now, i just write drabbles. i fell of the writing huge epic things and i'm struggling to get back on.
Apr. 30th, 2009 09:42 am (UTC)
first write it with heart
then write it with head
Apr. 30th, 2009 11:55 am (UTC)
Sounds right to me.
Apr. 30th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
at first time writing, it is very important to put as much as idea and writing on the paper. it is useless to care about editing at that time. it can be done later. unless you are PKD who can write books in a mount
Apr. 30th, 2009 11:58 am (UTC)
I like to get as much down when I'm bit by the writing bug the first go round, then return to it later until I can no longer poke with my editing stick for whatever reasons.

If part of a larger work, I do this, but mix it in with goalposts- finish chapter/scene/whatever go back to it at my leisure and start outlining the next goalpost.

Kind of a two steps forward, one step back to inspect the first step and keep running method.
Apr. 30th, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a really good method. I should try that.
Apr. 30th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
I rarely know where I am going when I start a story, but I try not to edit until I have a fair amount done. Still, somethings HAVE to change right away as I get more direction.
Apr. 30th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
I like to designate some days as "writing days" and others as "revising days;" I try not to mix the two tasks in any given day on any given project.

For y'all's amusement, here's an allegory that I like to tell my students, that I learned in a slightly different form from an old prof of mine:

Your writing process consists of two little guys: Pierre and Bruno. For Pierre, imagine a dainty and diminutive Oscar Wilde-esque foppish figure, sporting knee breeches, a waistcoat, and long locks tied back with a silk ribbon. He carries a notebook everywhere and scribbles, in luminous, messy, purple prose, about all that enchants him (which is nearly everything). He never looks back; when he turns a page, that page is irrelevant to him. He lives entirely and rapturously in the present: no greater vision, no self-doubt, and no revision.

For Bruno, imagine a towering figure--perhaps six and a half feet--clad entirely in armor (period doesn't matter, but my Bruno's armor is medieval). About his waist he sports an enormous and well-worn broadsword. Just as Pierre lives in the present reality of his thoughts and words, so Bruno thinks only of the context surrounding it. His eye is keen, critical and cruel. If you let him at Pierre's notebook, he will draw his sword and hack it to pieces, and Pierre, if he is present, will weep bitterly and refuse to write for weeks.

Naturally, one needs both Pierre and Bruno, but the important part is to never let them into the room at the same time. Before I let Bruno at my work, I must lead Pierre into the other room and lock the door. For me, this means letting the portion I have written sit for at least a day or two before revisiting it. Otherwise, Bruno--who really does have a cruel streak--will cut away some of the good parts too, just to make Pierre shriek.
May. 1st, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
I think it works best for me to write first, and then go back and edit. But I take notes as I write about things I know I'll have to change, and sometimes I'll change big things around and go back and do a quick consistency-check. But I try to save most of the continuity and rewriting stuff until the end of the first draft.
May. 1st, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
I could never finish a whole piece before I revise it. I try to "whoosh" it - put a lot down, then revise - as opposed to "banging" it - moving slowly, getting every word exactly right the first time. But it's constantly being written and rewritten. My writing is like theatre almost - I rehearse the story over and over, changing lines and characters, everything getting a little better each time.
May. 2nd, 2009 02:28 am (UTC)
I tend to go back and edit when a hit a stumbling block or a flat out wall. By going back and seeing what I've already put down, you can find inspiration to keep moving forward.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )