Writing Blog --cont. by MLR

I've been noticing as I go that if I take a break for more than a day or two, I seem to lose track of the writing style I'd been using, and have to go back and read a good chunk of what I'd written up to that point to get back on it. Particularly this occurred to me this morning, as I spent about an hour adjusting the last few pages I'd written, inserting paragraphs, tightening up transitions between paragraphs, changing some of the language around, because I noticed there was a sudden change in flow between those pages and the pages previous.

I think I read somewhere that, when he would start a project, Franz Kafka liked to do it all in one go. Basically just locking himself down in his chair by his typewriter and not moving until it was all done. I guess I can see that being a useful strategy; if you take too long a break you might forget what it was you were originally going for and have to relearn it before you can proceed, and that wastes a lot of time.

I don't suppose anyone else has this issue? I feel like getting sudden dramatic swings in style while putting together a rough draft is okay, but then in the editing phase, do folks feel like they spend a lot of time re-reading finished parts of the work to keep the rest of it consistent? Although I suppose in some forms of writing this wouldn't usually present much of an issue, e.g. poetry (since I imagine the editing process there could usually be done in a day or two anyway... though I suppose I could be wrong about that).

Writing Blog --cont.


6 June 2015 at 10:35:00 MDT

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    Definitely, and it doesn't help when you re-read the piece a few times and decide you no longer like the way it's written altogether. Things often turn out better for it, but still.

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      That's kind of where I'm at, actually. Once finished, this will be the... fourth time I've completely re-written this book. But my excuse is that this particular book is the one I started with, and hence the one I've used consistently as practice, changing it up more and more as I attempt to develop as a writer (the very, very first iteration of it I actually wrote on notebook paper, in pencil, around age 16 or 17, and its current iteration is absolutely nothing like that one except that the main character is still roughly the same archetype). I just want to get it done now because I think it's about time, and I'm more confident now that I can actually put together something some people would find intriguing enough to pay a good chunk of money for.

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    Indeed, I run across the same problom.

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      Do you see it as a problem, or are you okay with it? Sometimes I've had to consciously stop myself from editing more just so that I can actually start to see the end goal again, is why I ask.

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        It bothers me quite a bit. I've often just gone on long spells of not writing due to being very unsatisified attempts at blungeoning in words into what often becomes an unfinished bit of writing. Sometimes if I focus on writing explaination style/article writing (The Kopno World building shorts are an example), I can recover that muse.

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          Maybe there needs to be a 'Stop Editing Now' support group on Weasyl.

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    I've been doing that for years. That quite possibly is the main contributor to my unending writing projects.

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      Well, I guess what I've gleaned from these three data points here is that I'm not the only one who keeps changing things. I will say, though, having a more consistent work schedule has helped so far with this issue. Although we'll see... maybe when I finish this latest round I'll go back and read it all and find out the style slowly shifts throughout the work anyway, and I'll have to fix it all over again.

      I guess this is another one of those things that professional editors are good for, huh?