Saturday, November 6, 2010

Slapping around the inner editor

The NaNo is coming along in bits of drivel. At this writing, I’m over 11,000 words. It’s such a challenge to just keep pushing forward, to not stop in the middle of a paragraph and scream “CRAP!” and hit the delete button. But that’s the whole point to this little adventure. I am learning to soundly smack the editor inside me to and fro and send her back where she came from every time she whispers “Well, about that sentence...” I’ll play nice later, when the words are on the page.

I have a confession to make. I hate to write. Really. The struggle to get the characters out of my head and onto the screen is excruciating. I would rather just not, thank you. Putting the words into a computer seems such a tedious process, even a bit clinical. There’s an intimacy with the written word as the ink flows from the pen onto paper that I can’t capture on the keyboard. However, without getting the words onto the screen, I can’t quiet all the voices in my head, and it’s starting to get a bit crowded in there. Recently, a young girl named Eleanor and her guardian joined the other numerous characters residing in some lobe of my brain, so I have to make room. Besides, if I don’t get the words out I can’t move to what I really love—rewriting.

Rewriting is, for me, like returning to a great vacation place. When you go back you already know where the landmarks and historical sites are and you can really spend time exploring the nooks and crannies. You can get away from the tour guide and sneak down the alley and see what’s happening on the next street. And the more you visit, the more you find. That’s rewriting. Finding all the hidden parts of the story, all the colors and quirks, sometimes even finding out the story I’ve written isn’t even the real story, because I find the real one at the bottom of a long flight of stairs that I didn’t even know were there.

So, I keep putting the words onto the screen, one at a time. I don’t allow myself to reread what I’ve written, and I don’t stop in the middle of a scene. Excruciating. But I only have 39,000 words to go.

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