Change Your Brain

Write a 200-word story in a universe without any dimension of time. Then go and hash out your novel because YOU CAN AND WILL DO IT.

But really, go away.

What did I tell you?

Sorry for the gap in posts, but the American education system’s got me overloaded with work, and my characters are writhing in pain because their story is so awful and I HAVE TO FIX IT BECAUSE I LOVE THEM and…yeah.

So the editing versus writing process.

I have a system for productivity in writing my book, and a system for ripping it apart and gluing it back together. You should develop your own according to whatever works for you, but I find that this is the best way for me.

The two systems should be completely different. Opposite, if you can manage it. In doing this, your brain changes it gears in between writing and editing. You switch from loving your book and feeling for it to being ruthless and picking out the nitty-gritty details that need to go (even if you love them).

Writing: I listen to soft music (indie folk, usually). Editing: Rock. Classic, alternative, and heavy metal.

I listen to softie stuff while writing to get out emotions in writing. I edit with rock so I can be like, “Woo, editing! I am /horrible/ and /awesome/ and I’m going to make this /awesome/. Did you hear me, Queen? Fall Out Boy? Skillet? I am a /writer/.” But yeah, that’s just me.

Writing: Deadlines and priorities. Editing: Whenever I can.

I write as a priority to ensure I get it done. When I edit, I’m very relaxed because it makes me want to actually edit. Plus, it allows me to slow down and see more things that need to be fixed.

Writing: General ideas. Editing: Mostly concrete ideas.

I’m naturally a pantser. I’ve tried my hand at outlining, and it never works out. This makes my plotline inconsistent and weirdly broken up, but editing makes up for it. When I’m editing, I know what the story is, and I know more or less exactly what I want it to be as a finished product. This is why I write down the exact sequence of events in my first draft as I’m writing the story. I can go from there.

Writing: Coffee. Editing: Tea (Okay, just kidding. Coffee.)

*Sighs* Coffee. I mean, I drink tea a little more when I’m editing, but coffee, coffee, coffee. Coffeee. (I have a problem.)

So there’s my process. I’m a weird kind of thinker, so these may or may not work for you. Changing the way you see your (most likely) sucky first draft will make all the difference.

But you can’t edit a blank page. So GOOOOO write.

Sarah

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