Most of my toughest problems writing fiction come from hitting a wall midway through the first draft when I realize I must alter the narrative in some dramatic way, requiring massive rewrites of what I’d written so far. This doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it is demoralizing—especially for longer projects like novels. I dread going back to do that rewriting work because it is difficult, tedious, and time-consuming. Fixing what I wrote before often takes longer than it took to write in the first place.Continue reading
As a fiction writer I’ve developed the habit of starting first drafts of projects, particularly with short stories, then hitting a wall at some point in the middle, either from boredom or difficulty, then decide to pause and pursue another project. In most cases, I would not start a “new” project, but would go back to work on editing another story, as I have dozens of works in progress that need editing and rewriting. I’ve said in the past that I don’t enjoy rewriting because I find it boring and drudgery, but it’s also much easier and less cognitively intensive than writing a first draft, so it’s a nice respite after facing difficulty in the first draft on another project. Continue reading
Whenever I re-read something I wrote, I always find things to edit and change, whether it’s actual mistakes or just rewording sentences to make them more clear and readable. Yet when I last left the work, I thought it was perfect—not actually perfect, as there’s no such thing as “perfect” in art, but as close to perfect as I could make it. However, every time I re-read anything I previously thought was perfect, I always find things to change. Why is that? Did I miss those things before? Or Is my idea of perfection changing? Continue reading
No piece of writing is done until you’ve edited it. I’ve mentioned before how I’m not a fan of editing. I find it the most tedious part of the writing process, but it needs to be done. You can’t expect others to read something full of typos and mistakes. But finding all your typos can be difficult because your brain naturally corrects mistakes in your head as you read, so you don’t even notice them. The best thing to do is hire a professional editor. But not everybody can afford to do that. (Especially for a blog post like this.) So I’ll share some tricks I’ve used to help self-edit my own writing. Continue reading
They say writing is rewriting. Well, I love writing, but I hate rewriting.
The first draft is my favorite part of the process. While it’s often difficult, I enjoy the challenge because it’s pure creativity. Rewriting and editing, on the other hand, feels like drudgery. I know it’s important and makes the work better, but I just want to get it over with and move on to the next project and write something new. Continue reading