Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leave it!

So I'm about ten pages into my WIP, which has to yet to tell me its brilliant working title.

Aside: You know for someone who spent more time in third grade coming up with grandiose titles (The Last Dragon Queen, The First Star of Ria, The Three Golden Crowns...and that was just one series!) than writing the actual stories to go with them, I'm rather bad at it.

Aside #2: Writing in a notebook is a great ego boost, until you retype it into the computer. Only ten pages!? It's like an entire notebook....*sob*

Last night I finally agreed to let me husband read the pages. It went something like this:

CURT: Please please puh-leeze can I read your new WIP? Pleeeeeaaaaase?
ME: Well. Okay!

Hmm or maybe it was more like this:

ME: Ugh, I'm hitting a wall and I'm only ten pages in. (looks at husband with wide eyes) Maybe if you read it, that would help.
CURT: Yeah, okay. Sure.
ME: Great! So you'll read it right now.

Anyway, he read it and of course I read over his shoulder. And wow. Those pages are rougher that I thought. Not bad, mind you. Just rough, unpolished, a little gangly and awkward in places like a teenager. It's weird going from a 345 page manuscript that I've been working and reworking for countless eons, to something I just started. As I read through his eyes, my fingers began to itch with the need to edit.

LEAVE IT, says Victoria Stilwell, the host of It's Me or the Dog.

Victoria? What are you doing here?


Maybe Victoria has a point. The pages are rough, not bad. And I really just need to get the scaffolding up right now. The rest will come later. But maybe if I just went back to that one bit of dialogue that would be so much funnier if I stretched it out just a bit--


All right, all right...


  1. I'm with you on Aside #2. I love to write the beginning of new stories in a notebook (well, I always say I'm going to write the entire first draft longhand, but it never lasts). It looks so nice and full, until you type it up and see it's nowhere near as long as you thought it was.

    I sometimes think it's good to handwrite a new WIP for a bit, you end up going a bit slower, and it makes you think before you write. (Editorial you, of course.)

  2. I totally agree! That's exactly why I've been writing in a notebook for this new story. I want to take it slow and think things through. At least when it looks full in the notebook it gives you a little ego boost and retyping it is like training wheels for when it's time to face the accursed blinking cursor.

    Great minds...

  3. And even typing it from the handwritten copy is editing, because as you type you see things you want to change or that don't make sense.

    Sometimes, I find myself typing where I think the sentence is supposed to go (instead of actually reading the words then typing what I read :P ), realizing that's not how I originally wrote it and keeping the new version, because it sounds better.

  4. I've found myself "accidental editing" as well. Definitely a good thing, sort of like reading aloud to test your flow.