January 12th, 2021

Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Thoughts on Writing 18

#AmWriting #IndieAuthor WritingCommunity

Hard to see, perhaps, but an example of some ediiting I did in Darnahsian Pirates: The Third Stone Island Sea Story.

Apologies for not having posted much in this series of thoughts for a while.

Seems to me that sometimes we can get caught up in the various things connected with writing, and neglect the actual act of doing so.  We can theorize, dissect, suggest, or evaluate to the point that we get very little actual writing done.  Perhaps the best overall advice would simply be to write.  Don't worry about how or what comes out.  Getting it down on paper (or in your computer memory) is the first and most important step.  Once it really exists, it can be revised, corrected, edited, rewritten to make it better.

If we write on a regular basis, whether it is everyday or on some sort of schedule, we'll eventually reach the end of our #WIP.  (For those that may not know, that's work in progress, what we are currently workin on.)  When we reach that conclusion, we may have a handful of pages, dozens of pages, or perhaps hundreds of pages, depending upon what we are working on.  Short story, novelette, novella, or a full length novel.  And when we do finish we have what most people refer to as a first draft or a rough draft.

There are some fundemental truths about first drafts that we should be aware of.  First of all, in their own right, first drafts are perfect.  They do what they are designed and meant to do.  They allow, permit, or perhaps force you to take those abstract story ideas floating around in the vacuum between your ears and convert them into a real concrete story.  Something that actually exists, whether on paper or in a computer memory system.  A first draft provides something to work with as you go forward.

On the other hand, it is almost universally recognized that as a first draft, your story is in the worse shape it will ever be in.  Some individuals insist that "all first drafts are crap."  As I've mentioned before, I don't believe in absolutes with regards to writing, so I'll stop short of saying that.  Some first drafts might well be total garbage, but I believe others may be a bit more polished, even in that initial state.  It all depends on the writer, how he or she approaches the writing process, or whether or not they make any corrections/changes while writing it.

Regardless of how bad or how good a first draft is, it is inevitable that it will need some work before being ready to send out to the public.  The one exception might be those who write as therapy, who will finish something, set it aside or even delete it with no intention of sharing it with anybody.  Typically, though, if we are going to share it, even as something sent to friends, let alone publish and put out on the market, we'll want to improve, revise, rewrite, and polish our #WIP and make it the best we possibly can.  For simplicity's sake, let's group all these processes into the single heading of editing.

I believe we can look at editing in two different ways.  Who edits? And, what get's edited?

Next time I'll take a look at who edits.