Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Stopping Point

So, I'm revising along last night - a word here, a sentence there, whoops, there went a paragraph - and the words are slowly disappearing. Then - BAM - my brain shuts down. Hate it when that happens . . . especially when I'm driving. Kidding, people, kidding! I hit my stopping point. There just comes a time in writing/editing/revising where my brain can do no more, no matter my motivation or my goals for the day. My brain just says STOP!!!

Now, do I ignore the voice in my head?? Do I press on, determined to finish the chapter?? Well, bad things happen when I ignore the voices in my head. Bad, bad, bad things happen. I've had perfectly reasonable and reliable characters go off the deep end when I ignore the voice shouting STOP in my head. Yes, stable and reliable characters sometimes doing something so totally off the wall that even I, the creator, go WTH!!!! as I do a read through at some later date in time. Yes, WTH!!! I mean, how does a perfectly stable and reliable character suddenly start dancing on the table at the bar . . . perfectly sober. It just doesn't happen. Trust me on that one. I need at least six drinks in me before I . . . oh, wait, sorry, how'd that happen??? What was I saying??

Oh, the stopping point. I have learned to stop when my mind gets too tired to write/edit/revise. I have learned that forcing the issue is not a good thing, not at all. The only thing that happens when I ignore that particular voice in my head, is that I create more work for myself later on.

Question - do you have a stopping point? Do you acknowledge or ignore that point? Do you keep on writing? Do you step away from the computer? What happens when you keep on writing?


p.s. you have to check out this blog by LitGirl01's cute puppy Miles. He's absolutely adorable . . . and he has his own blog. My dogs are so, so jealous. My cats just can't be bothered!


Suzanne said...

Funny! Mine is the exact opposite! It is when I am totally blocked and force myself to write that the best stuff pours out of me. I find that the really fun writing, when I am "in the groove" is the stuff I have to take out or rearrange when I edit. My stopping point are run onnnnnnnnns. When I find I am writing 45 "and then's" I know it's time to STOP.

ElanaJ said...

I completely agree with you on the stopping point. For me, it's when I realize I've been watching women's golf for ten minutes instead of working on my writing. That's right. Women's. Golf. Puh-lease.

If I don't stop, I end up deleting 95 pages worth of crap and starting over. Yeah, it's better to stop before that point.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Like a margarita brain freeze, if ya don't stop editing at that point, you're in for more pain later on. :)

beth said...

I absolutely have a stopping point. When I start writing something I KNOW I will delete, I just stop. What's the point?