1. GThor
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    GThor New Member

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    Style Dealing with new thoughts

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GThor, Feb 8, 2014.

    How do I deal with new thoughts that require changes to the earlier manuscript? I don't want to lose momentum, but eventually I've got to deal with the change. Do I go back and do it immediately, or do I notate it for another time? If so, how and where? Either way, I've got to leave my writing progression, and that always effects my word goal.

    Thank you.
    GT
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's an individual preference. I don't believe there is a right or wrong.

    However, I edit as I go (after writing the whole story very rough draft out in a marathon). When I edit something it affects everything downstream so it would not serve my writing style well to wait to fix something.
     
  3. Earthshine
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    Earthshine Member

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    I'm the complete opposite of GingerCoffee. If I stop to do any detailed edits while writing my first draft, I can get so bogged down in editing that I never get back to the writing. Instead, I usually just make note (often in brackets, or if I'm using Word I just use the notes tool) so that I can go change it when it comes to editing the story. I then just write the wrest of the novel as if I have already made that change, because in my mind I have.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that it depends on you and your writing process. If you're still making reasonable forward progress, and going back and making those fixes gives you a nice contented feeling, then go ahead and do it. If you find that you're perfectionizing and all the corrections are halting forward progress, then don't do it.

    Me, I wouldn't go back and make any corrections while actively sitting and writing. If I found them popping up in my mind and distracting me, I would have a second file or notebook or Post-It handy where I would scribble those thoughts when they come up. Or I might just type them right into the manuscript as I'm typing away, with a tag that I can search on:

    Henry said, "You're ordering broccoli? What happened to the cabbage family phobia?"
    (EDITING NOTE: Make sure I didn't cut the bit where the cabbage thing was discussed.)
    Emily shrugged. "New diet. Anyway, if it doesn't have big leaves I don't read it as cabbage."


    Then I would informally schedule times, now and then, to go and make changes.
     
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  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I usually make the changes as they occur to me. I edit as I go. I honestly don't understand how editing as you go can prevent you from getting back to the writing. I always get back to the writing, though sometimes it takes a while! :)
     
  6. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    That's what the comments feature of the word processor is for. If you don't want to go back then, leave yourself a note.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no right/wrong or best/worst way... only what works best for you... and if by 'word goal' you mean some arbitrary number of words you want to write per day/week/whatever, 'writing' includes editing and making changes, isn't just the first flow... plus, it's only quality that should matter, not quantity...
     
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  8. GThor
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    GThor New Member

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    I've historically written for quality first and I've found all I do is edit, edit and reedit. Sooner than later, I get frustrated, depressed and shelve the project. That has lead to my withdrawing from writing for increasingly longer periods of time. I get great joy out of creating, but great defeat in striving for perfection.

    After reading advice on these forums, I decided to simply sit down and write; editing be damned. Now, I flinch every time I go back to write and see the pure crap I previously put on paper. I think to myself, "that's okay, I'll come back and edit it." Unfortunately I so despise what I've written that I can't get it out of mind. That in turn interferes with my creativity.

    My hope is that if I just keep writing and studying, my first draft will get better and better, and eventually is good enough so that it doesn't haunt me as I try to progress.

    In any case, after reading some of the excellent advice here, I know how I'm going to deal with my original question. I thank you all for taking valuable time out of your day to help me. I won't forget that. As soon as I believe I've sufficient knowledge to be of help I'll return your generosity. Meanwhile I'll learn how to be less wordy. : )
     
  9. David K. Thomasson
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    David K. Thomasson Contributing Member

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    It's going to depend in part on what you mean by "new thoughts that require changes." Changes could include anything from minor revisions of dialogue, to major changes in the storyline. For small stuff, you can leave marginal comments and deal with those changes later. But if an earlier change significantly affects how the story unfolds in later chapters, then you'll probably need to stop and sort all that out.
     
  10. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I sometimes go back and edit, sometimes I put an inline annotation or footnote and keep it in mind for later.
     
  11. Rafiki
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    Rafiki Active Member

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    Finish the draft but write as if you've already made the changes. On your next go through it'll be easy to alter because you'll be writing with the benefit of foreknowledge, and it'll give you the chance to see where your ideas go before setting anything in stone. I've had characters go through three different iterations in as many drafts, and it wasn't until the final one that they started making sense. I only managed to make them into complete characters because I took the time to experiment.

    Think of it like jamming a bunch of keys into a lock.
     

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