Monday, July 16, 2012

Writing: The Mistakes You Often Don’t See

overcoming writer's block - crumpled paper on wooden floor - crushed paper
(Photo Credit Link:photosteve101)

During the earlier months of working on my book, Bookworm, I was often aware of the uncanny feeling that something was missing in the story.

Sure, I finished it way ahead of my self-imposed deadlines. But guess what? I’ve realized that finishing a story doesn’t mean that my work there was done.

There were days and weeks when I would sit up half of the night contemplating on what was missing. I would read my drafts over and over and wonder where on earth would I weave in more details.

I’d whack my brains and consider options: Remove this. Remove that. Add a sentence here. Add a word there. Let a character shut up. Allow another to speak up. Ditch a whole paragraph. Use another word with a similar meaning.

I’ve changed it countless of times and I am just so thankful to those whom I’ve shared my first versions to. They actually didn't utter a single word of complaint every time I'd tell them I’ve got a “new” draft. ;-)

I guess most authors are like that.

In writing, mistakes are inevitable. But you must be aware of the notion that these roadblocks actually help pave the way towards putting it together to be a masterpiece. That’s part of the learning process. If you want to succeed and further hone your craft, one thing should be clear: You must be thick skinned, and willing to learn and experience the roadblocks in order to clearly see the path towards your dreams.

However, you must also be aware that there are times when you would turn a blind eye to your errors. It's not because you're not willing to see them. The thing is that those mistakes or missing parts do not obviously appear during your first reading or second reading of the piece. That's why you don’t see it. Believe me. I know this so well. ;-)

Not seeing those things is one of the obvious reasons why you often fall head-over-heels in love with what you’ve written. That is why you often think you’ve successfully ended it. And that is why most editors would send it back with more comments and corrections and suggestions for you to go through your piece again.

One tip I’ve learned? Once you’re done writing it, let it rest from further scrutiny before you go back to it. Chances are, you would be able to see things clearly with a fresh perspective and a more critical eye.

With that said, you’ll have to excuse me for now. I’ve got some drafts to finalize… And, yes, that includes adding the finishing touches to my upcoming book, Bookworm. ;-) I’ll see you next post!

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Macherie said...

im more of a fast writer, but when I get that nitpicky stage I tend to edit it like there's no tomorrow.

SittieCates said...

I figured you'd be working with a lightning speed manner, sis - considering the schedule you live on. Very impressive indeed because you're able to juggle everything. Miss yah! ;-)

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The Musings of a Hopeful Pecunious Wordsmith by SittieCates is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.