site stats
Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Friday, September 11, 2009

Q&A Friday!!

Since we're exploring the free falling theme this month, let's discuss how it relates to writing. To me, writing the first draft is a free fall of sorts if you don't stop to edit.

How do you stop yourself from editing when writing your first draft?



At 9:12 AM, Blogger Lee McKenzie said...

I've tried the "free fall" form of writing a first draft, and it was a total disaster.

My first draft of a scene is always messy, disorganized, completely lacking in emotional intensity, and the conflict is poorly laid out. If I move on to the next scene, I just get more of the same, and by the time I get to the end of the book, I have pages and pages and pages of material that is messy and disorganized.

If I take time to revise a scene before I move on, the story is much richer when I get to the end. At that stage it still needs lots of revising, but at least I have something solid to work with.

I encourage writers to figure out what really works for them. If you're the kind of person who'll go over and over the first few chapters and never get to the end, then "free falling" might be the solution. If you're like me and feel completely overwhelmed by a crappy first draft, then revising as you go might work best.

Whichever road you take, enjoy the journey!

At 10:44 AM, Blogger PatriciaW said...

I tried the "free fall" too...and I fell.

That book will never see the light of day. Like Lee said, at The End, it was all messy and disorganized, and I lost any hope of making it right.

I don't think I need to polish a scene or chapter to perfection but a little editing before moving on doesn't hurt.

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Judy said...

Like Lee, I have to revise before I move on. Otherwise I feel cluttered. That being said, I also have the tendency to become caught worrying over a word. So there's a balance. I'm learning that it works better if I turn off the editor during a writing session, and then come back and edit. It allows the scene to settle and my subconscious to work on it. Then it's easier to move on to the next scene. I'm not very good at it, yet, but it's improving now that I've figured out what works for me.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

I've tried free fall. That's well named. I write with a combination between full speed ahead, rough outline and serious re-drafting, depending on what works at the time. I think my best forward movement is actually when I begin my writing day with reviewing what I wrote the day before and making minor notes and corrections. This gets me in focus on where I left off.

I'll do a Book In A Week or NaNoWriMo, but I'm not speedy because it's the book I care about, now how many words I get down. I see no point in just aimlessly wandering through a manuscript, so if I have to take the time to chart out where I'm going or research some obscure point, I'll do it. But usually with a first draft, I'll make all kinds of notes in CAPS of what I want to change in previous chapters, instead of actually making the changes.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I did it once and it was awesome. I finished a 230 page book in three weeks. I even like that story! But no, mostly i have a difficult time moving on until I have all the kinks out of the page on working on.

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Merrillee said...

I'm with the majority. I write what pops into my head, but sometimes it's such a mess that I have to rewrite before I go on. When I start writing each day, I go back and reread what I wrote the day before and edit. When I'm finished, I have a fairly well-edited version. I still do some word searches to get rid of overused words and look for possible holes, but I consider that fine tuning. I believe Lee is right that you have to find out what works for you, not someone else.

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Add me to the list! I'm another one who edits what I wrote the day before and then I move on. It is the way that works the best for me.

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous DanR said...

I come from generations of Southern oral storytellers and I've always believed my edit-as-I-go habit evolved from this family tradition. You can't begin telling a story and not know where it's going. So, in order to get a sense of where my writing is headed, I've begun using a software program called Mind Movies. I write very brief images on Powerpoint and then I go online and find photos that fit what I see in my mind. I join the image with the script, changing it as I discover different directions for my story. I play the Mind Movie to see if the overall storyline flows easily. I've now completed a solid draft of my YA novel and am ready to begin revising it.

I got the idea for doing this after reading "Thinking In Pictures," by John Sayles, and after discovering Mind Movie. By the way, I do not receive compensation for mentioning either of those products, I'm just passing along what has worked for me.

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Lee McKenzie said...

DanR, thanks so much posting this comment. I love to hear about techniques that work for other writers, and this sounds like something worth exploring. Thanks!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]