Hi there, ladies and gents! Melanie, aspiring author, here.
As a friend of the lovely Lucy hosting Blonde Write More, I have agreed to guest post on her blog this January.
It just so happens that she and I fall into opposite categories of writers:
- The edit-while-you-go writer.
- The vomit writer, which is my category. As such, I’ve decided to take you through the process of a ‘vomit writer‘.
Step One: You pick which chapter/scene to start with. Remind yourself where it starts/what happened previously and then you begin.
Step Two: Words just flow from your fingertips. You’re not even consciously thinking about what happens next or who will say/do what.
It’s as if your character has taken over your brain and is writing down what they’re doing. You become completely dead to the world in this state. Nothing and no one around you exists and all you can see is your world and your characters playing out in your head like a movie.
Note: Explaining this to non-writers makes it sound like you’re suffering from multiple personality disorder. They just don’t get it.
Step Three: You finish that chapter in record time, which makes you feel like an absolute BOSS! The scene flows so well. Your characters had just the right amount of tension and action. The scenery was explained beautifully. You feel satisfied with how it turned out, but give yourself only a tiny pat on the back before the next chapter starts flying from your brain onto the page.
Step Four: Your edit-while-you-go writer friend asks: “how’s it going?”
You: “I wrote about 2,000 words in the last hour.”
Them: “What?! How?! I only wrote 200 words in the last hour!” 0.0
You: “How?!” o.O
Edit-while-you go writers spend so a lot of time contemplating their every paragraph, every phrase, every word while they’re writing. Then, they get all of two paragraphs down and go back and edit it, and again, and again. Meanwhile you’re furiously throwing words on the page like you only have one hour left to live.
Step Five: Yay! First 80,000 word draft complete in eight days! So much free time while you let it sit. Time to start another novel!
Step Six: Editing’s a real bitch. Your brain ran so much faster than your fingers were typing that you missed at least a dozen words. Also, your fingers auto-defaulted to ‘me’ instead of ‘my’ and ‘breath’ instead of ‘breathe’. You think those are the worst of your problems… until you read it as a whole. >.>
Step Seven: You re-write entire chapters, starting from scratch because it was so bad and dull and uninteresting. However, you write them just as fast as the first draft, meaning you’ll likely need many more drafts than an edit-while-you-go writer because even your edits and re-drafts are vomit drafts.
Step Eight: At some point you’ll hit The Wall. “*headdesk* This is taking way too long! I don’t want to edit you again! *glares at highlighted, red-marked, scratched up manuscript* I can’t just stare at that one word for ten minutes to figure out why it’s wrong. Yeah! That’s right! You! You’re the source of my problems ‘that’!”
Note: Talking to a manuscript is completely normal during agitation, but not normal during triumph. Smirks and smiles are, though.
Step Nine: Two seconds later you give up and move on to another section, running into the same problem and want to just walk away, give up, and let the magical writing genies in your computer fix it for you.
Step Ten: In the end, you exhale heavily, sit yourself down, crack your fingers, settle your chin on your hand, and stare at it. ‘It’ll be worth it,’ you tell yourself as you force yourself to tediously and meticulously read through your manuscript like your fellow edit-while-you-go writer has been doing since day one. Only then do you reach that end goal of ‘final draft’, the satisfaction of all that work settling a triumph smirk upon your face.
Note: Novel Two from step five is ready for edits. Repeat steps 6-10.
A big thanks to Melanie for her entertaining guest post. Whilst she is busy going through the motions of being a vomit writer I am busy editing the hell out of a single paragraph – sigh!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/69507579@N00/504209281″>Annette + Powerbook + Teh Interwebz</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>