I actually started editing! Woohoo! Although I do admit I’m not far at all in the first process yet, which is re-reading and taking notes, but I can tell you I’ve already learned about myself as a writer.
- When I separate my critiquing-self from my overly critical-self, my writing actually isn’t that bad!
- My strong point tends to be exposition. (Exposition is the writing intended to give information. I.e.: Not dialogue.)
- I am not afraid of a lot of exposition, but this is also a weakness.
In case you haven’t noticed… I tend to be pretty wordy. No doubt this trait appears in my creative writing. I can’t help it! I love to explain everything I can to make sure there is full understanding. But this has become my weakness because I started to interrupt the dialogue in my story with a lot of explaining. This is especially detrimental to quick moving conversation, and my main character has a thing for swift, non-wordy replies.
I caught myself actually rolling my eyes because the dialogue was cut off quickly by me inserting yet more information that could be placed earlier or later on. However the bright side here is that the information I interrupted with is actually good for the story and I know it adds to the plot and character development. I’m just placing the “wordiness” in the wrong spots.
I am afraid of dialogue
Why? Oh I don’t know! What’s terrible is that dialogue moves the story forward, and I can already see evidence of that. The only explanation I can offer to my fear of writing dialogue is that I don’t want to mess up my characters’ personalities by making them say something that doesn’t suit them. While I understand the logic behind this fear of mine it’s also contradictory in using the first draft to develop the characters (and to make mistakes in dong so).
These mistakes in writing are what lead us along in editing. If there were no mistakes in the draft then it would be the finished product. Who creates a finished product on the first go? Huh? No one! (No you don’t; don’t lie to yourself!) Every first attempt has room for improvement.
A word of advice from experiences not writing related
I’ve been given this advice from two influential teachers in my life–my band director from middle school and high school and my Japanese professor from my current college course. This is the advice paraphrased: If you’re going to make a mistake, then do so out loud so it can be heard and then fixed.
Something else I re-learned
Meet Hana! 花
I almost forgot about something that became daily routine while I was participating in NaNoWriMo. The youngest cat in the house loves to weasel her way onto my lap while I’m working. Contorting my arms around her while trying to knock out as many words as possible in a word war was definitely a challenge. Though her taking over my lap was frustrating at times, it is so cute to know she wants to be in my company. I think I’ll enjoy having her be my muse while I attempt to reform this beast of a novel!