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FF Sparks (Casual)

[Writing] Annoyance...

There's nothing more annoying than finishing a chapter of your story, getting another 1000 words or so into the next chapter, and then realizing you need to redo the earlier chapter in order to have things flow well. I hate breaking the flow of my work -- I've written a total of 8375 words on the story since Thursday afternoon -- but I can already see that if I continue on this path, I'll have to go back and rework about four chapters afterwards. So I'm throwing out part of this chapter and tomorrow, instead of working on the chapter after it, I'm going to redo the latter half and then continue on. Hopefully I can get more words in!

That said, I have a question for other writer-sorts out there. I've discovered that I cannot, CANNOT write on the computer. I mean, I can, but I fall into the trap of re-reading the sentence I just wrote, and going back to edit it, and eventually I hit a point of stasis where I endlessly edit and never move further. I can't even write in pencil, because I have the same problem. So I take a notebook and a full fountain pen, and I walk out to the waterfront; I sit in a little niche there below Gasworks Park and write, then I come home and type up what I've done. When I'm writing in ink, I can't go into endless edit mode because, well, I'm writing in ink.

This is actually why I'm worried about this chapter. Originally I had thought I would just forge ahead, but no, I've come to the realization that I know it needs to go the other way, and I can't make the following chapters flow -- I'll have to rewrite them all if I do -- without changing this one. But I worry that this will be a bad habit to get into. Maybe if I do it just this once it will be okay, though, and I won't start editing instead of writing; I need to (after this) stick to just writing straight through, as far as I can.

Comments

I *cannot* write on the computer, at all. I'll write a sentance, look it over, change a little thing and keep looking it over. I'll just edit like crazy and it goes no where. A notebook and pen always works best for me. I find my writing flows more easily that way.
I over-edit myself on a computer, even on Livejournal posts. It's horrible when I try to work on actual fiction.
Do. not. rewrite.

Not yet, anyway. You keep on writing. Make a note (use a few post its) about what needs to be changed in the earlier bits, and then keep on writing as if you've already changed it. If you go back and start trying to tweak things, you will have a damn hard time getting back into the forward motion.

Trust me on this. Throw nothing away. Rewrite nothing. Add some notes and move on.
NaNoWriMo is EXTREMELY valuable for breaking this habit. Trust me.

You learn to turn off the editor, because you have to.

Personally, I can't write by hand anymore. It's just more work, and I can actually type almost as fast as I can compose a story, so it works out well.

Seriously, the trick is just forbidding yourself to go back and revise. It's hard, but it can be done. Granted, I can't write unless I have the proper sentence to start with, but that's me.
I think it would be okay it you highlighted the section you want to retcon, turn the font red or something, then just left it there while you wrote something new to replace it - but only if you're talking about big, big chunks, where you can pretend you're not editing, you're just writing an alternate idea. Otherwise, highlight it, make some notes, and move on as best you can. Delete nothing, no matter what! You may want to look at it again later.

I have troubles writing on the computer sometimes, too, although like jacobine mentioned, NaNoWriMo broke me of the editing habit. My troubles all stem from my distractability and the presence of the internet.
Hah!

Oh yes, the evil Internet. During NaNo my first year I was terrible.

I finished because I told myself I had to write 1000 words, then I could take a break.
I had to unplug my modem cord every time I sat down to write!
I think it would be okay it you highlighted the section you want to retcon, turn the font red or something, then just left it there while you wrote something new to replace it - but only if you're talking about big, big chunks, where you can pretend you're not editing, you're just writing an alternate idea.

That's the only reason I'm doing this. It's not precisely an edit, I need to rewrite the second half of the chapter entirely. If it were an edit, I would hold off, but this is just hopping backwards slightly to redo how the chapter went in a significant way.
How long would it take you to write a simple text entry program without editing functions, even a backspace key? ;)
Hahaha. Honestly, though, I think I write better when I do it by hand. It forces me not to get distracted by websites and whatnot. ;)
Do it in hardware: remove the backspace key from the keyboard.

Huzzah!
Hahahaha!

The song has infected your brain...
I do the same thing, really... I type a paragraph, then can't help but go back and start editing and editing and editing. I do try writing out a whole chapter in pen first if I can. It doesn't always work this way, though.
I mostly look on my days of pretending to be a writer with some wistfulness, but I still type, anyway. Manual typewriters were (and stilla re) indispensible to me. I can type as fast as I want, and the flow is helped considerably along by the fact I'm hurting my fingers, banging away at the keyboard. It's almost cathartic, in a way.

And after the first few pages or so, I don't even notice the change of page routine.

*ding!* schzzzzzzhk!