August 8th, 2010

Writing Techniques (page numbers)

Okay. Why Editing Makes Me Crazy.

Well, one of many reasons, but I think this one is close to being the main one.

I'm a private drafter. I go crazy-secretive when I'm first-drafting something, otherwise it does NOT get finished. I know this about myself, about my process. The very act of admitting I'm working on something new, let alone if I give specifics of any sort, makes me less inclined to finish it.

There are about a thousand reasons for this? Up to and including that if I were any good about talking or writing about my work, I'd have a different sort of job than "novelist."

But anyway. Whatever it is in my brain that makes privacy in the first-draft stage not only preferable but necessary, helps me let go of things once other people see them. I can allow the reader their 50%. Because I'm done. I stop engaging with the work.

Re-engaging enough to rewrite something is just... ugh. Rolling the mountain up the hill. If the thing is particularly broken, I can muster the willpower. But I'm terrible with tweaks. Terrible.

It doesn't help that I don't know if I can do anything to make this book better. Worse, quite possibly. But I'm not so sure about better. I'm a little afraid I made it worse in the last draft, as it is. In parts--other parts, yeah, it's better.

Anyway. This has been another episode of Writer Despair. If you have enjoyed this episode, or think you can solve my problem, by all means, share it in the comments.

In the meantime, I'll be buckling down.