December 23rd, 2009

writing_ishard

A Writing Post

An LJ reader emailed me a writing question a few days ago, and gave me the all-clear to use its answer as a blog post, so I’m going to give it a shot. The question (and its surrounding commentary, which I thought was relevant) follows:

I know that some authors find rewriting easier (in some ways) than the initial creative process. Me, I can whip something out of nothing without breaking a sweat. But whenever I try to approach the highly necessary rewrite of my recent novella, I get almost immediately overwhelmed by the minutiae of things that need tending to. I am pulled this way and that, trying to keep track of the myriad of details that need to hover simultaneously in my forebrain–and I end up just fiddling with the niggling little grammar nits, polishing word choice, questioning whether that adverb is really necessary, and reassuring myself that all the independent clauses are safely sequestered within their parenthetical commas.

Consequently, the real work–that is, deleting scenes and rewriting the whole cloth of large sections–goes undone because of these distractions of questionable value. Sometimes, I think I might be better off deleting the damned thing and starting over from scratch.

So, my question: In your subsequent drafts, how do you keep the story from getting in the way of your rewriting?

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(x-posted from the essential kit)

catie_cute

mostly metrics

We have accomplished two weeks’ worth of going to the gym now. It was less difficult to get up at 7am this week, possibly because I was going to bed at Very Sensible Hours, but also possibly because I was slightly more used to it. But although for the rest of the year when the gym is open, it’s not open until noon, I still should really get up at 7 and go write until half eleven and then go to the gym to…weightlift, probably, because I suspect the pool will, for its opening hours, be full of screaming children. Actually, that’s fine. It’s the locker room being full of screaming children I’m less keen on. That, and the bitterness of having to share lanes with several other swimmers who are really bad at lane-sharing, since possibly everybody will be trying to get their laps in during the limited opening hours. (Not looking forward to January and the New Year’s Resolution group.)

On the plus side, though, we did learn that our regular cabbie starts work at 7am, so when gym hours go back to normal we’ll just have him get us. That’s nice, then. :)

Today was a busy day, although I didn’t get all that much writing done. Swam, went to the store, made coconut joys, wrote a little, made dinner, watched NCIS, made marshmallow creme in preparation for making fudge tomorrow…heck fire, no wonder I’m sleepy. Off to bed with me!

The Road Home: miles to Isengard: 16.4
ytd km swum: 50.5
ytd wordcount: 272,700

(x-posted from the essential kit)