Saturday, April 02, 2005

Just Getting It Written

I’ve heard many well-known writers say that it’s best to just get it written, that even bad writing on a page is better than a page with nothing on it. I went back and forth through the years, sometimes agreeing with them, and other times not agreeing with them at all.

I've found there are actually two kinds of bad writing though. The kind I did years ago when I wrote my first two romance novels. And then there’s the kind I do now when I’m taking part in a writing challenge or just pushing myself, allowing the words to come and blocking that editor from my mind--and sometimes knocking her off of my shoulder. (Smile)

I’ve tried to rewrite those first couple of novels, and I’m going to do it one day just because they were my first. But there’s nothing easy about it. No matter how I try to justify it when I look at those choppy scenes and cut-out characters, I find it hard to think that starting with a blank page would be harder than saving these dear-to-my-heart-but-oh-so-bad novels. To be honest, when I wrote the first one, I had no idea what plot was, what real conflict was, or even point of view. Thankfully, I’ve come a long way baby. (Smile) So maybe really bad writing from someone who doesn’t know what she is doing--at all--can be worse than a blank page.

Then there’s the story I’m working on now, that I’m trying to just get written. I’m not allowing myself to go back and rewrite as I go, or to over think every little detail. When I’m done though, that rough draft will no doubt be better than those polished first efforts of long ago. So now, at the place I am, bad writing is definitely better than the blank page. Of course I do a lot of prewriting in my mind before any words hit that screen, which helps.

Do I regret those first couple of manuscripts I completed?

Not on your life!

Those were my schooling. Those were the stories that carried me to where I am now. I learned as I went. Each page, and sometimes each word, was a lesson.

Hmmm, maybe anything is better than a blank screen. Without those learning efforts, no matter how rough, I wouldn’t be the stronger writer I’ve become. I guess anytime you have the choice to sit there and stare at that little blinking spot on that blank screen, or to type words, typing words is the best choice. At least that’s my story on the subject for this moment on this day, and I'm sticking to it. (Smile)

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