I do something that a lot of authors freak out about when they hear me say it – I edit as I write.
There’s a lot of advice out there about this, and most suggest that you should write, then edit, then rewrite, then edit, so on and etc. They see editing as you go as a barrier of sorts. You should, they say, vomit out the idea first, then edit and refine.
I just don’t do that, and never have. It feels wrong to me and the way my brain works.
- Figure out what I’m gonna write
- Write until I’m exhausted (or all the ‘fresh and upfront’ ideas are on the page)
- Go back to the beginning and read / edit
- When I get back to the point where I stopped before, I either continue to story until I am, once again, exhausted, or, if I’m not ready for that yet, return to the beginning and read / edit some more
This is why it’s often difficult for me to answer the question, “What draft is this?” Um. 2…apple..X…?
It’s also why people in my critique groups read something of mine and are impressed with how clean the draft is. That’s not saying it’s anywhere near perfect or complete, but I’ve already (hopefully) edited out all the stupid stuff. Which frees them up to find other stupid stuff.
Other authors have told me this is insane. Even the thought of editing while writing makes them cringe. I find that quite interesting.
What’s your process?