I have discovered that if at all possible it works best for me to write a quick first draft and not allow myself to do any editing until six weeks after I’ve written The End. When this happens I end up having to do a lot of rewriting and cutting and adding, but it’s worth it, even if I do trash thousands of words and add in whole scenes to replace them.
Why this works best for me:
~Keeping the flow going while I’m writing helps my thoughts stay in tune. My brain loves to jump from place to place so sometimes I even write a note to myself on my WIP to come back in and finish a scene later on and then I skip ahead. Writing it all in a timely manner keeps me from having too many misfitting scenes.
~When I’m in the writing zone my thoughts are extremely different from when I’m in the editing zone. It messes up my rhythm to try and change back and forth.
~I thrive on starting and finishing something. Working on one draft at a time and having concrete starts and stops works a lot better then merging the two.
~I’d rather get a first draft written quickly if at all possible. I can generally (sometimes, anyway) think of other story ideas while editing, but I try to focus solely on the story at hand while I’m writing.
~My inspiration doesn’t flow nearly as well if I’m paying attention to typos or grammar or plot holes.
~I make needless edits because I don’t know where the story is actually going to end up, or the exact routes it’s going to take to get there.
~It takes so long when I’m writing and editing then I lose my drive and enthusiasm for the project more often. (Meaning I take breaks from the book a lot.)
~I plain and simple like dividing the writing part and the editing part.
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What about you? Do you write and edit at the same time? If so, why? If not, is it because of some of the reasons I listed? Oh, and don’t forget to fill out this survey for your chance to win a gift card (and to help me out!).