Wednesday, February 10, 2010

### ICK!!! ###

When I'm making notes to myself in a draft of any piece of writing, I've taken to using three hash marks front and back to make it stand out.

After one particularly pungent, overwritten phrase in my novel, I wrote
'### ICK!!! ###' and simply moved on.

I find that the more willing I am to do that, to note my dissatisfaction and then charge on with the work, the more work I get done.

'Well, duh!' you might say. But the story's a little more complicated than that. It's not simply that I write more words, but that, in the end, I write better words, too.

This gets back to the point I've made in a couple other posts that it's necessary, if I want to actually get something done, to allow myself to write utter crap. The more freedom I give myself to do that, the more I write and the more good stuff I write.

This works from two angles. The first centers on the fact that you can come back and rewrite (and you will be re-writing, no matter how brilliant the first pass feels to you). The second is that fact that, as a writer freed from his overbearing internal editor, I give myself a chance to write more freely, a chance to have better stuff come out the first time.

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