Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Back to Speed

This is getting to be old hat at this point, but here I am again: Writing a Monday evening post with no internet to upload it with. If you ever get to read this—hopefully on Tuesday the 9th—well, I hope you dig it. Also: Happy Tuesday.

Now, let’s get to it.

I spent last week doing a light edit of what I’ve written so far; mostly checking for consistency and doing a few line-edits here and there, but with a few more significant changes here and there. This proved beneficial for several reasons, not the least of which being that last week crawled straight out the pits of Hell and would have kept me from getting any writing done, and those are what I’m hoping to talk about today.

This isn’t the kind of thing that I do often, going back and soft-editing the first act of a novel. I was taught to finish first and edit later, and that rule has always done fine by me. Given how troubled this project has been in the writing, though, I thought that it might be prudent this time. A novel is a big project, after all, and this one is proving to be a bit bigger and more complex than anything that I’ve written before. Going back has let me highlight a couple of trouble areas before they got too out of control, it’s let me change a couple of character and organization names before I needed to spend a whole day just doing find/replaces, and it’s let me get my formatting and chapters in proper, consistent order.

Mostly, though, it has let me refresh my memory on the novel and where it is and what I want to do with it. I went ahead while I was reading through it and updated the character list and started up a style-sheet, committing myself to specific technical terms and spellings and colonial departments, and whether or not I’m spelling it ‘all right’ or ‘alright.’ Consistency sorts of things, really.

Plus, reading what I have down already lets me pass terrible, authorial judgment on it. It’s shit, by the way. But it’s shit that I can work with and polish up, rather than shit that I should just discard like last time. Shit with potential.

That may seem like an absurd and arbitrary distinction to make on my part, but please believe me when I tell you that it’s an important one with reasoning behind it. A writer’s determined self-loathing, and how he determines the difference between good and bad shit, is a whole post in itself, though, so I’m going to keep it in reserve for the time being.

The point is that I’m ready to get back to writing now, and that I still feel good about what I’m doing. Which is why I won’t hold myself up here any more tonight.

See you folks next time.

 

-Sean

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