Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Updatathon!

Update-athon? Up-date-a-thon? Up-data-thon? Whatever. Here's information!

I finished my draft! *pauses to skip like a ninny*

While I'm waiting for the draft to marinate for a few days, I've been catching up on other important things, like sleeping and watching tv. My life, it is a never-ending glamour-fest.

I actually feel guilty that I haven't written a single word, outside of tweets, in THREE WHOLE DAYS. I'm starting to get twitchy, but I can't draft the next idea until I smooth all the bumps out of the last one.

For me, a first edit isn't as bad as it could be. I tend to self-edit quite a bit while drafting. *please feel free to slap my hand here if you are one of the VOMIT OUT THE DRAFT, STOP EDITING NAO types. Yes, yes. I know that's how it works for you, but I can't do that and stay sane. Which brings me around to writing advice.

DISCLAIMER: This part of the post veers into "advice." This advice is not to be taken internally. The "you" addressed in the following paragraphs is actually "me," meaning Mittens. Yes, I'm talking to myself. Shut up. Don't look at me like that. Point is, please don't assume I'm actually talking to YOU, reader person. Unless you agree with me, of course. Then feel free. Thanks.

If I listened to every bit of writing advice as if it were WRITING LAW, I'd have jumped off the roof in hopeless desperation by now. I break so many rules, I'm sure the Writing Police would've arrested me ages ago if they knew my secrets. I'd certainly be up on indecency charges for being a pantser instead of writing a formal outline.

I'm fascinated by the idea of fast drafting, but I know that requires a detailed outline. My brain just doesn't think that way. There is absolutely no reason for me to force it to try. It makes me miserable, and provides less than satisfactory outcomes. It reminds me of the joke about teaching a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. Well, dangit. The last thing I need is an irritated pig. It might make the bacon taste funny.

And you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Meaning ignoring writing advice, not the bacon thing. There's nothing RIGHT about funny bacon.

The best writing advice is to listen closely to what works for everyone else, and then pick and choose which strategies will work best for you. Then, live by them. Perhaps your Favorite Writer Ever insists that you not touch one word when drafting, just keep going no matter the issues you might run across. Then you read something from another writer you admire the next day that says just the opposite. It doesn't matter if Famous Author Person only writes on odd numbered days, and while wearing a hat made of chicken feathers, if writing on even numbered days while wearing roller skates works for you. See how silly these sorts of things can get?

The only way you'll find your own absolutely unique set of advice that applies directly to you and your writing is to keep trying until you hit your groove. You'll churn out more words, better words, words that make your little heart sing, if you stop trying to live up to every last bit of advice. That's all there is to it.

So now I've justified taking another few days off writing to watch Supernatural, because my brain is enjoying the simple distraction. It's like clearing the cache on the computer. I was so gummed up from drafting that I would never spot the problems when I went back to revise. I needed a brain purge, and Supernatural is proving to be an excellent health tonic. I can't believe I've never watched this before. I understand many of you would like to express dismay at my former Sam and Dean neglect. Feel free to form a line. I'll be over in the other window watching the next episode.

Until next time, sweeties!


3 comments:

  1. Congrats!! And I totally understand the twitching....

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  2. Congratulations on finishing the draft! So exciting.

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  3. YAY for finished drafts!!!! *dances like an idiot next to you*

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