Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pondering the Need for Edits

Ack! Zokutou Where Are You??

My Zokutou Word meter no longer works. I keep getting account suspended when I try to access their site. This is on the same level of bad as when my unkymoods went AWOL. For months I didn't know what my mood was! Hopefully Zokutou will be back soon.

In the interim, Finding Home is at 58,500 words and motoring along. Although I think I've reached a point where I really need to print off what I have and read it because I have a feeling at this point I should be further along in the story. And I also think I have time gaps where the characters should be thinking about a main point in the story, but aren't.

But then I think, eh, just wait until you hash out the first draft and then go back and fill in the gaps. Get it down first, then worry about fixing it up.

I'm worried if I start to edit now, I'll get lost in revision before I even finish the story. And what if down the line in the second half I come up with ideas that would have altered the revisions of the first half, meaning I'd just have to re-revise. I know revising what I have now would probably make it easier for my critique partners to understand where the story is going, but then again, maybe my critique partners in their imminent wisdom, would be able to provide feedback and guidance that would alter where the story goes, thereby changing what would be revised and how. Hmm...I must ponder this.

What do you guys do? Plow through the first draft like a bat out of hell not worrying about editing as you go? Or do you write a little, edit a little, write some more, edit some more?


Annie Mac said...

It's funny to see all those broken word meters on everyone's blogs. I found another site that does wordmeters so if Z. doesn't come back online I'll send you the site.

I don't know the best way to do revisions. With this MS I tried the "plow through to the end" method. But mine is a short contemp. of only 55,000 words so it was easy to keep track of the threads in my head. And, I discovered a lot about the story in the last 50 pgs that will help with the revisions.

julia said...

I used to be a write-a-little, edit-a-little writer. After last year's NaNoWriMo, I discovered there is a definite plus to going past the urge to stop and regroup.

However, when there is the potential for a great deal of rewriting that first draft if the wrong direction takes over, I still put on the brakes, get out of the seat, stretch a little and take another look at where I've just been.

Shelli Stevens said...

I always write a little and edit a little, so I usually have a darn good first draft. Then I send it to crit partners and I tweak what needs tweaking, then I send it out.

Hey, I miss the word meter too! Here's another one you can use until it comes back. Just plug in your own numbers instead of mine and it works well. I had to seperate the < > because it wouldn't let me post it otherwise.

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Christine said...

I used to edit as I went, but then I found I never finished a manuscript. Since then I've pushed through the first draft until it's done, no matter how bad I think it is. I can always go back and add words if its too short, or cut if necessary. But some people can't do that. I think it comes down to how your creative brain works.

Lexi said...

I push through the first draft. If I have to I make notes about what I'd like to do as far as editing. But I love the rewriting process so I'll wait until the "shitty first draft" is done before getting to the meat of the story.

Tess said...

Yep, I learned two mss ago that once I've started writing, I have to keep going - NO revising till I'm done, or, like you said - I get lost in it.

Melissa Marsh said...

I just write the first draft and edit after it's completely done. Sometimes I will leave little notes for myself in a particular section that I know will need work later, or maybe if I have an idea on how to fix it, I'll also leave a comment. I love that feature on Word. :)

Rene said...

I don't edit until the book is done. Since I never know how the book is going to end until I actually finish, it would be pointless to edit until I know what's going on. Unless, of course, I start submitting before the book is done. Then I edit the first 3 chapters. But that would be a very bad thing to do, wouldn't it?