Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Getting it All Out

I'm the kind of writer who likes to just writewritewritewritewrite until the draft is done before attempting any kind of edits. I've always been rather fond of the pottery metaphor for novels: you've got to get all the clay lumped together on the wheel first, and THEN you can start shaping it into a pretty bowl or vase or what have you. But you have to get all the parts together first.

That's not to say that editing while you go can't work - obviously the first rule of writing is that there is no universal rule of writing. Some things work for some people, and other things work for other people. Sometimes, the same methods don't even work for different novels - circumstances change, deadlines are looming, the characters aren't cooperating, et cetera. For my senior project / work in progress, The Long Road Home, I had to go back and revise what I'd written about a year ago before I could continue. It just wasn't working as it was, and I needed to fix some things before I could move forward.

Since then, however, I've been just chugging along as fast as I can (can I get to "the end"/past 50k by the time finals week rolls around? WE SHALL SEE) and it's been going great. Obviously, my project mentor has been pointing out her concerns as we go along, mostly some hitches in worldbuilding continuity (uuuugh worldbuilding... you make so much sense in my head!) but she's really understanding of the fact that I fix things later. And it's nice to be aware of those problems as they come up; I don't have to run and fix them, always doubling back before continuing onwards, but it's nice to know what I'll have to work on later, and to be able to try and smooth those things out in future chapters so that there's a bit less to revise.

How about you, dear blog readers? Are you the kind of writer who just chugs along forward, or the kind who revises along the way? Will I finish this manuscript before I graduate? What do you think? :)

1 comment:

  1. I tend to write ALL THE CRAPPY WORDS first, then rewrite and/or revise later.

    That being said, there is often overlap on my drafts. For example, I took a break from Draft 4 of SHARDS for a week or so while I incorporated beta feedback on what I had so far for Draft 5, just to get over the itch. And then I went back to Draft 4. (Fortunately, at this point, the changes weren't too drastic.)