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  1. Rad Scribbler

    Rad Scribbler Senior Member

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    Can't get out of, to my mind anyway, a bad writing habit

    Discussion in 'Revision and Editing' started by Rad Scribbler, Sep 19, 2020.

    I think I am cursed. I have developed, to my mind, a bad writing habit and can't seem to get out of it.

    Yes, I'm always going back to edit passages of writing. Doesn't matter whether its a couple of paragraphs or a 1000 words plus. I am always thinking on how better I can word a sentence etc.

    Is there anyone else who does this?

    For those of you who can leave editing to the end, how do you manage to do it without the urge to go back and make changes?
     
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  2. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    For me, it is important to edit along the way. I don't see anything wrong with that. You tend to end up with a better product in the end. I still do a lot of revision, but it helps to have a true story that's well written and not a pile of crap.
     
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  3. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    It’s not exactly a bad habit, just an unproductive one. It’s all a matter of process and what works for you. If you can handle the pace the habit hobbles you to, then do what you do. If you want to gain some ground, then you’ll have to resolve to work differently. Maybe a compromise of sorts by reading over the previous days work and make notes of what caught your attention or you find unsatisfactory- not changes, just notes -and save the editing work for the end.
     
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  4. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Well I certainly couldn't leave it till the end. I found it impossible to do so. Which is one of the reasons I never got very far with my novel attempts.
     
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  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    It takes the same drive to finish a story whether you edit along the way or not.
     
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  6. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Editing along the way is more useful if you can trust in the structure of the first draft. If a first draft is going to need heavy rewriting because the writer is figuring out the structure while they go, it might be better to just get it all out. But if the writer has a detailed outline and they know where they are going, and they have finished things before, it might be fine or encouraging to do some editing along the way. In that case, what does it matter?
     
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  7. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    But it gets finished far quicker if you can write without editing at the same time.
     
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  8. Rad Scribbler

    Rad Scribbler Senior Member

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    Thank you for your comments. Much appreciated. :)

    I guess I will have to force myself to write more and resist the urge to repeatedly make changes to what I've previously written.
     
  9. LostArtist

    LostArtist Member

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    I hardly ever use a rubber when I draw and sketch, most of my outlines and first marks are still faintly visible. When I am creative, I'm very disorganized and chaotic, each mark and smudge can lead or pull your picture into something completely different.
    I wouldn't say it is a bad habit, more that you have a more organized mindset when it comes to writing.
    Some art is chaotic, flawed, expressive.
    Some art is precise, perfected, refined.
    a balance between is healthy. also, be wary of this voice in your head that might just be screwing with you. saying s!&t like "errr you could have done that better merrrr!" could be an anxiety thing.
    A voice we all have unfortunately, unless you have a dilutional ego problem.
     
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  10. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    My rule is, only edit one scene prior to where you stopped. So if you're starting Chapter 2, the only scene you should be editing is the final scene of Chapter 1. I edit as I go and I've managed to finish books before - not many, because my first took me 12 years 'cause I couldn't get the damn plot straight, but I actually finished that 12-year-long novel 3-4 times (I have so many variations of it that I don't remember exactly. Minimal 3 completed drafts, all different plots). Besides that I have 2 more finished novels, one of which I did over the lockdown - started in March, finished right before September. I edited all of these as I wrote. In fact, I've come to rely on an alpha reader to give me immediate feedback so I can correct and tweak and even change the plot direction before I find out I have to delete 30k words :)

    Editing as you go is better, in my opinion. There was just one completed draft I didn't edit as I went - I just wrote and wrote to the finish without once looking back, like so many users on this forum had advised. Terrible, horrible idea, may I say. When time came to edit it, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It was the worst pile of drivel I've ever written or read - just awful - and staring at the word count knowing I got another 70k words to go before the draft is done? Dear Lord, have mercy. It's about the most discouraging thing you can do - or at least that's the case with me.

    Editing as you go doesn't mean you play with one sentence for a week. Have the discipline to move on. Keep the bigger picture in mind so you don't get so bogged down. But editing as you go isn't a bad habit by any means.
     
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  11. Rad Scribbler

    Rad Scribbler Senior Member

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    Thank you LostArtist and McKK for your feedback. Much appreciated.
     
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  12. Mana_Kawena

    Mana_Kawena Member

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    Yes it's a bad habit to do continually within a single draft; heck, some successful authors will rewrite their stories completely hundreds of times before they consider a work finished (and even that sometimes only comes when their story is accepted or published somewhere!) If it's happening during the initial drafting stage, maybe consider writing those early drafts in pen in order to keep yourself moving. As someone who has the same tendency to labor over every word at times, I know it has helped me immensely :)
     
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  13. LostArtist

    LostArtist Member

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    you're welcome buddy :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  14. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Sorry.
     
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  15. LostArtist

    LostArtist Member

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    OMFG
     

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