Monday, December 14, 2009

To Edit or Not to Edit

I sat staring at the PC, willing my brain to come up with a really snazzy post topic. I hope that I provide engaging content that is both thought triggering (provoking just seems so generic and over used) and helpful. I try to integrate the "tips" and "lessons learned" in with my current WIP.

There are millions of writing tips that can be given. Millions...yes, I can allow myself too hyperbole. I'm a writer after all.

*rubs hands*

Okay, of the million tips, which do I want to talk about today? Hmmm...editing. Or rather, not editing. With my recent frustrations of Sorcerer's Carnival and the editing of two short stories I think it's appropriate. Not to mention - which is a weird sentence introduction as I'm about to mention - my online writing circle had a forum discussion about this very topic.

Many writers, especially new writers, want to edit as they write out their first draft. My tip: don't worry about editing when your laying out the first draft of your story. By trying to edit as you unveil the story in your mind, you're limiting your creative juice from the gate.

Let your muse do his or her thing. Don't restrict them. Don't slow them down. Don't stop them. Your muse runs on an underlying level of thought that your conscious doesn't recognize or see. Basically, you don't know all the thoughts you're thinking. Your muse, however, can see everything and cruise all the avenues.

By definition your draft is suppose to suck. It's suppose to have grammar errors, sentence mayhem, and confusing paragraphs. The climax of the story will be in an odd spot and your characters will conflict with their core characteristics.

It's okay.

After your muse exhausts himself or herself and crawls into his or her mental bed to sleep off the creative hangover, your Nazi Editor can march out and straighten up the mess. They are systematic, organized, and ruthless.

I guess the core of what I'm saying? The Muse and the Editor don't play well on the playground, so don't have them out at the same time. You're just begging for the Muse to go all bitch on you and risking your Editor having a meltdown.

Then where will you be? Screwed, that's where.

That's my writing tip for the day. Good writing all (and editing too)!

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