Sunday, November 13, 2011
Keeping The Flow
Oops! Last time I mentioned Antonio Manuel as one of my favorite authors. Seems I did Senor Manuel an injustice, as he is responsible for the term Fantastic Literature, not Incredible Literature as I noted. Just another example of the necessity for a good editor.
In fact, I left that last sentence stand to make a point. It’s grammatically incorrect. Did you catch it?
We as writers are responsible for the content of the story, not the mechanics. And that is how it should be. While we need to present our work in a logical, clear and understandable form, we need not get bogged down with spelling, usage and the like. That is the editor’s job. It is too easy, while writing the next great American novel, to get tangled up in the proper placement of a comma. Many novice writers make the mistake of trying to get it right and perfect the first time. That’s why we do rewrites. While there are no clear defined rules for writing, I have found a few simple tricks to keep the juices, and the words flowing.
Writing for me is almost a stream of consciousness process. An idea will come to me; kick around in my mind for whatever length of time necessary, and then, like a woman suffering through her ninth month, it will have to come out. And for me, when it’s time, it’s time. I can’t stop to worry about spelling, usage or much of anything else. Even seemingly simple details like names and eye color can cause me to lose forever what might have been an important key element of the story. So what to do?
As I write (and much of my process is writing, actual pen and paper writing) the thoughts and words and situations come amazingly fast. I often feel that I am not actually writing so much as transcribing what I am hearing in my mind. When it comes to details, if they are not forthcoming I leave a simple note and a blank line, and move on. It looks something like this: (eye color here). It is much simpler to go back and decide on the perfect element at a later time, than to risk interrupting the all important flow.
Of course many writers opt to sketch or outline their work first, some even storyboarding first and/or preparing full bios for their characters. But then again, that’s the great thing about writing: there is no right or wrong way! Just write! And leave the editors to do their job.