Sunday, 16 March 2008

Another therapy session for writers

Yesterday I met with my writing group buddies for 'brunch' again. It was another therapy session for writers, at least that's how it feels to me. I can't recall everything we talked about for the six hours (yep, we moved into afternoon tea), but I do remember discussions regarding how to best get the words onto the page.

This is something I think about a lot: should we aim to get all the words out there quickly and imperfectly, then come back and revise? There are many arguments for this. I'm sure it makes you feel like you are making excellent progress, at least with the 'story' aspects. But so many of us agonise instead over each word deployment. And (as so often happens to me) we end up ripping out the scene anyway because it's become superfluous or has been superseded. So all that time perfecting the prose is effectively wasted.

During my rewrite, I have been allowing myself to write more 'perfectly' in the (possibly deluded) belief that this time round will not become superfluous or superseded, and will instead very closely reflect the finished novel, leaving space only for a few tweaks here and there. Yeah right. I am slowly coming to the realisation that maybe there'll be another draft after this one. But, seriously, I have to stop 'rewriting' and move into 'editing' and 'fine-tuning' eventually, don't I?!

This weekend has been better from a writing point of view. I have had two sessions today, between which was crammed a six-hour stint at work. Just think what I could have done with that as writing time! (This work-hell crap is seriously starting to make me grumpy!)

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