Monday, December 5, 2011

Unwriting

The other day as I finished a writing session I commented to The Engineer that I had cut 200 words.  He replied "I know I'm new to the whole writing thing but isn't that counterproductive?"  First, he's an engineer, it's all about cost/value  effort/progress.  Second, he thinks he's funny.  "Now that you're done writing are you going to unwrite it until there are no words left?  I believe those kinds of novels are called reams of paper but hey, at least you'll be able to tell the agent it's perfectly grammatically correct.

Even with no words I doubt I could make it grammatically correct. 

The thing is that there are a lot of aspects of writing that could make us feel as if we were taking a step back.  A shrinking word count, Or growing word count if we're trying to cut the size, starting a new draft, getting feedback and having to write that one scene yet again.

As writerjen said on her blog,

"If I'm on the right road, it doesn't matter how rocky it is; I know I'll get there. All I have to do is deal with each pothole and hairpin turn as it comes."

Keep moving, keep following the path and we'll reach the end eventually.  

10 comments:

  1. Ha! I know counter-productive work intimately! My problem is empty words that just fill the page to get to a minimum words total. I know better than to set one and yet I presist and do it over and over.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Word goals can be highly motivating for some but not everyone. Like you I often end up with meaningless words I have to erase. Now I might have learned something in those words so they aren't wasted but still. I rarely word goals outside of NaNo (which I've only done once). The important thing is for writers to know how they work and set goals according to their own strengths and weaknesses.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ha, your hubby is funny. Writing does seem to take on a kind of ebb and flow pattern. But you're right, we will get there eventually.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lol, he'll be thrilled that someone thinks he's funny. You're right about the ebb and flow of writing though. And it's based on so many things, a writer's health, stress level, the weather, research, internet connection, you name it it can affect a writing schedule. If we let it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In engineering school they teach inquiring minds to start with an idea and pare away the deadwood until you are left with a bridge that will perform exactly as it was designed to ... sounds a lot like writing to me!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well when you put it that way it does. He actually can write very well when he wants. I've been impressed the few times he's written a story. If he gets published before me though there will be problems...

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's why 'Cousin Vinnie's' who 'do' kneecaps were invented!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Snicker. Actually I had a few uncles that threatened him when we married. None of them are named Vinnie but I think they'll work.

    ReplyDelete
  9. There's a Kids in the Hall skit about a writer. He agonizes over the typewriter for hours and days and then he writes...

    "there's a spider on your back"

    And that's the novel [g]

    Here's the beginning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YrDQ18P9x4

    ReplyDelete
  10. Now why didn't I think of that? It's sure to be a best seller.

    ReplyDelete