1. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Trapped by Editing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Killer300, Dec 23, 2011.

    I feel like I can never just write because I'm always correcting the concept when I first write it over and over again. Suggestions?
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're redoing the concept continually, it may only mean you haven't quite got it figured out in your mind yet. Sometimes it takes several false starts before something 'pings'. On the other hand, it may be that you're being too much of a perfectionist and need to let go a bit.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Stop editing and keep writing until you have finished. Keep a journal and make little notes about things to fix that come up during the process. Don't read what you've written until the first draft is finished. Then you can read it through and start editing.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    ^^Do not edit.

    If you have to, lock what you've already written in a drawer. Or else, create an entirely new Word document (or whatever program you are using) for the next portion of your work. Do no even go back to tweak what you've already done until you have a completed manuscript to work with.
     
  5. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    Yeah, I do this constantly - I begin every new writing session by re-reading what I wrote the day before, and usually I spend so long editing it I hardly get any actual new writing done. I have a deadline for delivering the first 5 chapters to my agent at end of Jan and I'm worried I won't meet it because I can't seem to stop tweaking... The thing is, I can't move on to new writing while I'm still fretting over what I've already done and not completely happy with it. This has often made me worry that maybe I'm just not a natural writer... but on the other hand, I know that in the end I always come up with the goods. So, maybe I just have to live with it.
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's really no problem with edit-as-you-go unless, as it may be in the OP's case, you get stuck doing it and can't get any further. Then you have to force yourself to move on. However, I'm still not sure if the OP is reworking the text or, as he stated, the 'concept'.
     
  7. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    Promise yourself that nobody will read what you've written until you finish the manuscript. Leave the finished, but unedited, manuscript alone for a few weeks and either print it out or load it into an e-reader [I use my Kindle for that]. Then, read the entire printed/e-version manuscript and make notes/highlights of typos and changes. After you've gone through the entire manuscript that way, you sit down and edit a new copy of your manuscript [every revision a new copy, so you'll never throw anything away] using the notes and highlights.

    If you know you will edit it before you'll show it to anyone, it tends to liberate the 'writer' from the 'editor'.
     
  8. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    The text, I'll start with two paragraphs... and then get nowhere beyond that.:(
     
  9. iabanon
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    iabanon Member

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    you seem a but compulsive with your editing. like its a tick. maybe being aware of this you can mentally fight it. i edit as i go a bit. i write and when i've finished the one or two paragraphs i'll go over with a cursory edit. for major things. i'll usually notice more tht needs to be done, but it's not like i'm going to forget it. i can continue writing and then do a big edit when finished. learn to walk away.
     
  10. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Hey, thanks, perhaps it is a tick. Never considered that, to say the least.
     
  11. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    For a while I couldn't move forward without editing the hell out of whatever I'd done the day before -- and then I'd go back further and edit some more, and on and on. My therapist actually helped me with this, because I let him read the story I was working on. He said, "What your story needs is not more editing (he used the word 'editing' as if it were a silly word for some trivial unnecessary thing, like extra embroidery on a dishtowel). What your story needs is to be told."

    Really helped.
     
  12. Kashif
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    Kashif New Member

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    Writing is an art. You can constantly change and fix it without it ever being perfect. You'll have to figure out a way to press on in spite of what you want to edit. Sadly enough, no matter how hard you try to edit, an editor will come through and find errors that you simply couldn't. Just keep writing. Just keep writing. :)
     
  13. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Maybe you should try outlining the whole thing before you start. That way you'll know where you're going and won't have to edit till you're done with the rough draft.
     
  14. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    I've broken FREE!:) I'm finally writing something without constant editing, just took a subject that... flowed better.
     
  15. forgebench
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    forgebench Member

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    I find that keeping each chapter in a separate text file really helps out with this. If I can't see it I can't mess with it :)
     
  16. bumblebot
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    bumblebot Senior Member

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    When I can't leave something alone, I will turn off my monitor or tape paper over my screen while I type. Glad to see you've broken the habit but if it happens again maybe you could try something like that.
     
  17. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yay! Go you! :)
     
  18. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Thanks guys, although now I find a different issue, but I think I've broken free of excess editing. For now anyway.
     
  19. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    *cries* It came back.:(

    What's really bad is it hit me in the first 1,000 words. It... has caused issues to say the least.
     
  20. Jared King
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    Jared King Member

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    One possible solution is to force yourself just to write and not to edit for around a month (I know, that doesn't really seem like helpful advice). They say that it takes around that long for a habit to form, and perhaps you can make a habit of not editing your work as you go. I don't imagine there are going to be any easy fixes other then using willpower to break free of the cycle, but I think if you can keep yourself from editing for a decent period of time your mind will get used to it and you'll start to forget all about editing as you go. Hope you get your problem solved soon.
     
  21. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Question: How well is your plot laid out? How much have you "planned" before you start writing?
     
  22. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Well, haven't done well as an outline writer before, however perhaps a very loose one might work. Rigid... I can't see working out to say the least.
     

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