Friday, February 22, 2013

Another Writer Trap

I've discovered another writer trap, one so sneaky and clever it doesn't look like one. Here's how it works:

I write a story and polish it and send it out and it gets rejected, causing me to go back and revise it. See? It doesn't sound like a trap at all. But when I revise it, I see things I don't like that I should've fixed before, but I didn't so I waste time now fixing and improving the story, which shouldn't be broken. And that's the trap.

Of course, you can argue that this is not a trap, just the normal way writing works sometimes. But I maintain anything that waste writing time is a writing trap and that includes bad writing, bad plot, or bad story elements. And I realized the issue the other day while revising a story that needed work, even though I had sent it out and thought it was done and ready to go.

In my case it was bad plot, which I changed so the whole story works better as a whole. I don't understand why I didn't see these things before. But I didn't. The good news is I've got a new take on the piece and I should have fixed for a March release.

On the other hand, some believe that no writing is bad writing. Sometimes you need to clear cobwebs or ramble around until you figure out what you are trying to say. And that's true. In that context, writing that you will toss out isn't bad or time-wasting; it is more like stretching exercises before the big run. But bad writing happens when you think you know what you are doing only to find it is a mirage.

That's the trap to avoid. So know what you want to say; make sure your purpose and intent is clear.

And above all, keep writing.

No comments: