Writers often get bogged down in the middle of their work because they keep going back and editing the beginning. Yes, sometimes changes need to be made as we discover different than what we’d originally planned, but editing – honest to goodness editing – should wait until after the first draft is completed.
Writing and Editing use two different sides of the brain, and sometimes we get hung up on one side and we can’t switch to the other as easily. Sometimes that’s known by another name: Writers’ Block.
Left side creative brain uses a completely different skill set than right side analytical brain.
They’re like oil and water. They just don’t mix.
Keep them separate.
People who have broken legs use crutches. Writers who have broken sentences use crutch words.
A crutch word is an empty word with no purpose. It’s just a filler. Dandelion fluff. If you remove it from your sentence, you won’t even notice. No one likes to hear someone fill their speech with these. No one will like to read them either. They weaken your writing dramatically.
“Um” is the best example. Here are a few more. You can find lots of lists of these all over the web.
- Look (like)
This one is titled “Authenticity”.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read someone’s manuscript, only to find the wrong words or misunderstandings about a piece of information that’s easily found.
I spent hours and days and weeks researching, not only the location, but also the time period, the political climate, the people in general for my novel “Birthright”. I’m sure I got a few things wrong. But the truth is, people wouldn’t have believed the story if most of it wasn’t correct.
Authenticity leads to Believability.
I wrote recently about writing what you love because you may not get published. It bears repeating, especially when many writers like to write about various things.
It seems to have become the … fad… to write the latest … fad. *cough*
Young adult SF became the rage with the movies Divergent, Maze Runner, and Mockingjay. Lots of writers thought, oh, I have a story like that I’ve always wanted to write. They’re excited. They’re going to sell millions of copies. They finish the book and try to find a publisher, only to find no one is accepting them any longer.
Fantasy romance is hot. Everybody shifts to that. Only to again find no one wants to buy them.
Then another genre gets hot. And another. And another. And suddenly you feel like a dog chasing his own tail!
What most writers fail to realize is, yes, these genre’s were in the demand. But it was before the fad ever hit the public. That excitement was driven by an excellent market campaign. Probably several.
Rarely are we, as writers, lucky enough to be able to predict the next swell of excitement for a book.
My advise: Happiness and success can be fleeting and hard to catch. Be happy with what you’re doing.