Friday, April 18, 2014

A Fork in the Road: Revise or Continue?

Over the last couple of weeks I've complained about being Lost in Plotland and then thrashing about in The Plotland Swamps for sixty-some thousand raambling words. Several times I've lost courage and wanted to abandon this writing free of structure, allowing whatever comes next to mind as the words pour forth.  It has been a confusing effort for one who usually takes an engineering approach to composing stories.  This scene, description, or discussion needs to go earlier, I sometimes think as I'm pounding out words upon words.  I pause and ponder where I might put that fragment and then, recalling my promise to write, write, write like the wind, I continue on, with a note to correctly place those bits during the inevitable revision.   But I worry.  I seem to be writing a LOT of these misplaced pieces.   Perhaps I should put them in their proper places now and ....

No, no, no!! That's my Structure Muse trying to take over the controls.  Has your time come, I whisper to him/her?  Should I continue to write like a careless fool, paying little to logic or consistency in the headlong drive to a conclusion (as opposed to THE conclusion, which will probably appear on the fifth or tenth revision, if then?)  Maybe it wouldn't hurt if I stopped to revise and edit the material already written before attempting to finish?  Or would it be a mistake to arrest the flow and step back?  Should I unshackle SM to revise and edit the material already written before attempting the finish?

Then I remember my promise to dive headlong into this experiment and decide to keep SM locked away until my raw creative fires have burned away and the story is at last abandoned, if not "finished."  Only after the tale is done I will avail myself of SM's editing skills.


1 comment:

  1. I'm with you, Bud! I went from having only the sparest outline to having uber-detailed ones. Now I feel I have more of an intuitive sense of structure and went back to not-as-detailed outlines.

    Now I think I need more detail. So hard to figure out!


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