Welcome to Day 7 of Crashcourse!
Crashcourse continues onward, slow and steady. Okay, reallllllyyyyyy slowly. Cripes, my self-editing is out of control. It’s time to break this habit once and for all.
Crashcourse Slows Down
Today, I wrote 456 words in about two and a half hours. That’s pretty abysmal. Worst of all, the story feels like it’s just ambling along for these first 2,000 words. I mean, it’s not terrible. It’s just kind of … blah. I lay a lot of the blame for this on self-editing, so let me tell you what I mean by that. I’ll write a sentence, then another sentence. Then I’ll combine the sentences. Then I’ll take this new sentence and edit again. I’ll move it to another paragraph, then another one. Maybe I’ll break it apart again or delete it altogether. Or maybe something else.
I’ve been writing this way for years and I’ve never really liked it. It slows me down, saps my creative energies, and keeps me from really immersing myself in a story. I keep promising myself I’ll change it, but I never get around to it. Why is that, you ask? I think it’s because the problem partly self-corrects. After a week or so, I usually cut back on the edits (not fully though) and return to my normal rate of 500/words per hour. That’s okay, but it also keeps me from solving the bigger issue.
Part of the reason I started this blog series was to take a closer look at how I craft stories. And upon reflection, I don’t like my editing process. I do like the idea of using edits to move a story forward (I talked about this yesterday). But I’m tired of trying to make every sentence perfect, over and over again. This weekend, I’m going to make it my mission to completely change the way I edit my books. That is, I’m not going to edit unless I’m using it to gain momentum. Wish me luck!
Today: 456 words in 2:27. 186 words/hour
Total: 1,958 words in 8:50. 222 words/hour
You might want to look at Dean Wesley Smith’s Cycling method for editing while writing.
I’ve actually tried to put cycling into practice, but the desire to edit is so strong that once I start, I can’t stop myself. Everything suddenly becomes a “creative edit” and then I bog down. I figured I might have more success with throwing up a wall between edits and creative writing and see if I can’t break myself of this habit once and for all.
May Ivan recommended 12-step program. Editor’s Anonymous meets every 5th Tuesday of the month 😉
Oh, I could use that!