Ramblings on Writing

It’s hard work making up stories. Even when you know where you are going with something, deciding all the details of how events unfold can be daunting. Sometimes, things don’t unfold the way you intended. You become tempted to stop and go back and rewrite.

That way lies madness. You have to steel your courage and press on. You will address the deviations from plans later AFTER you have completed a first draft. I have wallowed in the self indulgent squalor of rewriting the first chapter again and again and never finishing the story. Best to put the story so far, such as it is, behind you and press on toward the end of this draft.

This is the essential lesson of the writer. Write. Finish a draft. Give yourself some distance from the draft. Then, read your draft with a critical eye. Sleep on it. Read it again and take notes on what you are reading. Note inconsistencies and week points in your manuscript.

And, for heaven’s sake, before you start editing, save your first draft in several pages intact. If you mess up editing, you want to be able to start over with your raw first draft. One of my tricks is I put my manuscript in a source code control system, Git is my tool of choice. Then, when you totally mess up the edit of chapter two, you can go back and revert to a previous version and try again.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.