Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Path of Progress

"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, acheivement, and success have no meaning." - Benjamin Franklin

While my week has been technically less productive that last week, I still feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit. I’ve written two chapters and gone back to write another chapter that had to be manipulated into a place earlier in the book. As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m a linear writer and, as such, I write in a chronological order; however, sometimes—as I experienced this week—your story and characters take you in a direction you weren’t expecting and you find yourself having to go back and fill in the necessary changes so that the integrity and continuity of your book remains intact.

Now, some writers believe that you need to get everything done on paper first and fill in the gaps later. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, for the most part I agree with them. But I also know for myself that if I don’t go back and fix an obvious plot hole when I realize it’s a problem there is a very good chance, when the time for complete revision comes along and I’m going back to the gaping hole I left behind, I won’t remember what I wanted to do with it in the first place and it will set me even further back than I was before. So, this is one of those instances where editing as you go can have a positive influence over the quality of the book.

Of course, I’ll let you in on a little secret. As much as I try to be a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of writer, I have a hard time letting go and refraining from perfecting what I write as I write it. Stacey will testify to this because I struggled with it even more with Age of Eden. With Olivia’s Ghost, however, I’m trying my best to let the words take me where I need to go. Giving them free reign as I write, instead of trying to reign them in until my writing slows to near a dead crawl. It’s one hell of a balancing act, but I’m trying my best to learn and grow from all of my past writing experiences. To give myself the freedom to make mistakes and not rush into fixing them as soon as they happen. Intellectually I know exactly what I need to do to keep my writing productivity at its highest level, but knowing what I need to do and doing it are two separate things.

At the end of the day I guess you could say that I am a living, breathing WIP (work in progress). But I don’t know if I ever want to stop being that. Because the key word in that description is “progress” and that is the direction I always want to be going in. I think that’s what every writer should be striving for, a continual journey of progress. It doesn’t matter how big or small that progress is, as long as you’re striving forward, there are no limits to how far you can go.

So, until next time, I wish all of my fellow writers good day, good luck, and good writing. See you next Wednesday!

1 comment:

elizabeth seckman said...

Who cares what formula you use, as long as it works, right?