Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No man's land

Rewriting is limbo. It is neither here nor there. Rewriting is the in-between. There are so many rules of editing and so many rules of writing. Good rules. Excellent rules. One of them is that the two don't mix.

Don't write and edit at the same time.

That is a rule. And for very good reason. You gotta just get it out! If you keep tweaking something when its half done, its very likely that you won't get a full rough draft.

But what about re-writing? As you know, I am rewriting an entire novel on paper. I am extremely tempted to type it up, but I told myself (and even tacked the written rule to my wall) that I am not to type in what I've written down until the whole thing is done. The logic is that if I type it in, I will be tempted to edit it while doing so, but since I'm writing, I ought not edit. Thus, I ought not type it in until I have written THE END.

But lately, I've been doubting the rule on my wall. Probably just because it is a rule. And who likes those? Not me. I've been pondering (gasp!) typing in what I have so far (gasp!) before its (gasp!) done. But I resisted the temptation, somehow.

That means no retyping or editing. Not for now. The more I write, the more I understand the process. There are more than just the two stages of editing and writing. There are many in-betweens.

Like a spectrum.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, yes, the spectrum. And along with the writing and the editing is the decipline to do what you are trying now - all of the way through (maybe) - and then after you have done it all with this version of these rules, you'll know if you want to tweek them.