The Brighter Side

Despite my penchant for overly dramatic wailing and teeth-gnashing when things interfere with my writing, I was raised to be an optimist.

Experience has taught me that no matter how frustrating and exasperating interruptions are, a delay in my writing time usually enables me to think of a way to make the story better.

It is possible to write a story too quickly, to push it so fast that some scenes or chapters are superficial and perhaps thoughtless.

Although I do believe in Ray Bradbury’s adage about writing hot and revising cool, I always remember that if I write too hot I will have to do a lot more cold revision.

Be careful, however. If you use delays to second-guess yourself, you can create unnecessary problems. Time, practice, and experience will help you evaluate the possibly brilliant new idea that occurs to you when you can’t write steadily every day.

Here are some ways to judge whether you’re throwing out the baby with the bath water:

1) Is the new idea a minor tweaking of the scene or the dialogue, or is it radically different, involving changing plotlines and major rewriting?

2) Is the new idea one that fits within the outline you’ve already established with thought and care?

Tweaking is fine. Major, drastic changes should wait until you have at least completed the draft and can better judge how much revision is really necessary.

Just keep going!

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