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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Delayed Gratification: How waiting until the end of the chapter to edit helps your story

And then, she walked out of the door and right into traffic.

And then, she strolled around the corner and was hit by a bus. 

And then, she jumped out of the window and sprouted wings. Yeah. That's it.

We've all done it. For the more OCD challenged of us, (and I use that term as an exaggeration, not to offend anyone who suffers from the condition,) editing on the fly has become such a dirty little habit that we'd sooner admit we chain-smoke three packs a day and floss with strips of bacon. It's nearly impossible not to go back and reread every sentence as soon as it's typed. It's what we do as writers.

Well, stick out your hand.


Stop that.

You see, the creative process is like a lumbering eighteen wheeler. It takes forever to get up to speed, but once it's there, it's very hard to stop. But if something like a small electric car, (read: constant editing,) jumps in front of it and cuts it off, the results are disastrous. Going back over every word as you write it will stifle your creativity to a slow, painful death. I write most of my best stuff on the fly, and often the first thing that comes off of the top of my head is what stays in my writing.

So my challenge to you, dear readers, is that you finish an entire chapter without going back and editing once. Then, once you hit the 'page break' button after completing, you are free to go back and edit to your heart's desire. And if you're having trouble finishing that chapter, I can help you with that too. Whether it's writer's block or tips for punching up your story, I've been there and done that. I lost the t-shirt, though.

Until next time, keep those keyboards hot.
Until next time, keep those keyboards cozy.
Until next time, keep those keyboards scalding.
Until next time, keep those keyboards warm. There!


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