A Time Waster: Revise While Creating
This week, it’s been tough getting writing in–did 590 words yesterday and got an idea for a new, short scene. We’ve had thunderstorms all week, so at the first sign, computer gets shut off. We’re also starting to get early humidity, which is turning into tornado warnings. Maryland’s had a few watches, but nothing has gotten close to me. I’ve never seen a tornado, and that’s not an experience I want!
I used the time to print the entire first draft and the entire second draft. The third draft was what I launched off this revision with. Each one is quite a bit different, so I’m looking for anything I can reuse. I thought the first draft was terrible — and there are places where it clearly doesn’t make any sense because I just plopped scenes in there — but I’m finding sentences I can reuse in the current revision. My idea for the new short scene came from a paragraph I ran across while recycling. It didn’t fit into any of the scenes, so I created a new one that will give the reader information but not the main character and play into theme of lying. Will try to work on that one tonight if we don’t have more thunderstorms.
Never, never again will I revise as I write though. At the time, I thought it was a huge time saver that would cut off time on the revision side. Instead, I’m spending time hunting for material edited out along the way. I have so many changes in the story that even printing the first and second drafts isn’t getting me all the material. I started on the hunt because I was looking something specific that I know was in the story. But, while revising while I was creating, I took it out. I’m now going to have to hunt through the backups to find it. It’s very easy to revise good stuff out of the story!
I’m reading Life of Pi, which is not a book about math!