Friday, November 12, 2010

Editing vs. Writing

Editing takes more time than writing. Yeah, most of you probably know this . . . at least on some level.

Writing, at least the rough draft, and at least for me, is all about getting the words out of my head and onto paper . . . well, the computer screen since I don't write things out by hand any longer. It's about running with the idea, careening through a dark forest, the path sometimes barely discernible, and suddenly discovering myself at, well, The End.

Editing is, well, tedious. There's not this onward rush, a dash of sorts, over the hills and through the woods to grandmother's house we go. No, there's a steady, slow, tedious, long and arduous progression from word 1 to word 63,057.

I can't write willy-nilly, not worrying about typos and incomplete sentences, chasing my muse, hoping she'll wait for me and not rush off four pages ahead so, that by the time I get there, she's long gone and the words, for the moment, dry up.

No, with editing, I must examine each and every word, fix the typos and the incomplete or unclear sentences, replace her with here, or vice versa, and ha with he and there with their and . . . well, the list goes on and on. I must delete the unnecessary and think does this make sense? If it doesn't make sense, then it must go - edit, delete, eradicate. I must think forward and backward - no, this doesn't make sense here, but later, in Chapter 12, it will make sense or did I leave a clue in Chapter 6 that makes this scene plausible . . . and so many other things.

So, while I might be able, on a good day, when writing, to sit down and write 8,000 words. In editing, the process is much slower. I am the tortoise, slowly progressing along, whereas, when writing, I am the hare, racing forward, content - so to speak - in my arrogance that I'll win the race.

Yes, I know, writing isn't a race. Writing is, in many ways, the tortoise - a slow progression to the finish line.

So, as I near the end of this edit phase, I acknowledge that editing takes more time than writing.

Just another glimpse into the warped and twisted space I call my mind. Ha!


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