We writers can take ourselves way too seriously. One of the most frustrating things as a young writer is to have those “seasoned” writers in your face touting the rules like they were the 10 commandments from the big guy himself. Yes there are some rules that you need not to break i.e. use commas and such but there are others that can be broken like the way you use tense and point of view. One of the worst “rules” ever; go over each thing you write at the end of the day. Here’s the really cool thing about being a writer…we “create” things, even the rules and when we create we get raw; trust me; you can’t do that if you are editing as you write.
When I am working on a book I always write through the first draft without my internal editor. I ignore spelling, tense rules and all that crap that the editing process is supposed to involve. The first go round is to just write the darn story down. Have you ever woken from a dream and thought to yourself, “I need to write that down before I lose it”…writing should be viewed the same way during the first draft stage. You have to get the story down and then go back and on your re-read decide what needs to be changed or dumped. I find that if I don’t do this I lose a lot of the “passion” I had for a story. Just like that dream, if you don’t get it down, you just might lose it.
Stories are emotional vessels for both the writer and the reader. It is a way to convey a piece of the world that either didn’t exist before or to share how that story is seen through your eyes. Emotion is here and now, it’s raw and bold…it is not edited and forced which is what you will do if you try to both write and edit the first time around. Have you ever told a story, verbally, and had your audience on the edge of their seats and then later tried to retell the story only to discover that it doesn’t sound the same? That’s because you are merely repeating the story the second time around; you were creating it the first time around.
So stop trying to edit as you go, it makes about as much sense as combing you hair after each snip of the barber’s scissors; it wastes time and there is no way you can envision the whole story if you are picking it apart as you go. Get it down, get it raw and then go back and put clothes on it.
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