Monday, June 17, 2013


I know there is the possibility that by continually saying I hate rewriting, that I'm just making it so.

Then again, I believe it's just so, with or without me saying.

Anyway, it the dues I have to pay to be a writer.  The original stories come easy, too easy.  The rewriting comes hard, too hard.

One way I'm trying to look at it is this:  Rewriting isn't just about effort, it's about time.  I can't snap my fingers and 'fix' things and magically make things better.  No, I can change a word there, a line there, add something here, cut something there, change things around. 

Little by little.

Then come back and do it again.

Until it becomes a word-jumble, in which case I'm done.  Word-jumble is my new description of what happens when I've read something so many times and worked on it for so long, I can no longer see anything but a word-jumble.

Half of the reason I've arrived at the "process" I've been using over the last year of so -- after fumbling around for a year or so -- is to delay that moment of word-jumble for as long as possible.

The other half of the process is the make the first draft better.  Two sides of the same coin.  By writing a first draft relatively quickly, and not going back and changing things, I get the story down with all the emotions I'm feeling and ward off the word-jumble a little longer.

Another way of making the first draft better is thinking much harder about what I want the story to say, to try to look for problems before they develop by planning ahead.

I used to not like doing this -- I felt it was detracting from my inspiration and spontaneity.

But I was wrong.  Planning ahead is the way to go.  For instance, I fully thought out the fact that I need "more werewolves, sooner werewolves."  Then I thought about where I wanted to place the new chapters, and what I wanted each chapter to say.

Sitting down and writing them is a bit like writing made to order, instead of the joyous discovery of new ideas.  But the process is so much smoother, the results so much better, that I'm now convinced that planning -- maybe not complete outlining, but close -- makes the process go faster and more efficiently -- and the results are better, more creative.

There's plenty of creative satisfaction in actually writing what I planned -- the joy is in doing it and knowing that it was done well.

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