Writer’s Rush

Posted on April 11, 2011


You know that moment? When the writing flows with nail-biting narrative and you’re entire focus becomes sharpened, becomes fixated on the story that spills from your fingers. Know that moment? It’s the writer’s rush. Our adrenaline. My fix. Here’s what has currently got me hooked:

DO NOT REWRITE (yet)

Argh! Seriously annoying, and yet thank goodness it was noticed.  Right, so I am writing a story that is comprised of nine women/nine chapters. This in itself is tricky because every time I finish one narrative, I need to dream up another. Some people are wonderfully organized and have all major plot points developed before pushing a button on the keyboard. Not me.

I’m a ‘do as it goes’ kinda gal.  I do, and it goes. After all, common wisdom says that while writing a first draft the author is meant to write without looking back. “WRITE FORWARD young(unpublished)  writer, write forward,” says the literary guru I just made up. Maybe he looks like a purple coloured Buddha, with a pen in one hand and a stiff drink in the other. Anyhow, there are times when it’s incredibly tempting to break that rule.

Like this week. I’ve just wrapped up my fourth story. In this story Carriage (aka Carrie) battles with between obligation and extreme restlessness. She ought to stay, she craves to go. Right. Except that unlike my previous three stories I decided to play with perspective, and so sometimes you have that close third person narration focused on Carrie, but other times it jumps to someone else. Pro: you get to see how others view this stranger in their town. Con: the reader becomes 1) distracted by the switch in perspective and 2)attached to this new character, who is never repeated.

So that’s no good. That is a bad story, or no, sorry, bad writing. The story is great, but it’s delivery is flawed.

It’s so tempting (pass the bakery and smell fresh cookies tempting) to stop and rewrite this little bit of trouble. BUT – no can do. I’m going to listen to the common knowledge guru and forge ahead. Next up are the twin sisters…..hmm, so that brings the number of women up to 10, however while they are twins, I’m going to treat them as a single-minded entity. This might piss off real world twins, but in fiction I’m allowed to be playful.

Maybe opinion varies. Should a writer edit as they go, or edit afterwards (when faced with pages and pages and PAGES of text)? It’s a question to wrestle with, for sure. But in the interest of time (and the ability to say, ‘oh yeah, I’ve finished the novel’ to literary agents) things will be pushed ahead.

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