I'm going to be doing a series of posts on common writing rules and why I think they are or aren't a good idea. We all know sometimes rules can and should be broken, but you have to understand them first. So leave me a comment (or send me an email) suggesting a rule you'd be interested in hearing my opinion on. I'll start those after Halloween (because I have a spooktacular post for you all next week with a ghost and a review).
Today's rule is editing as you go.
I know it's been said many times that you shouldn't edit as you write. The main reason being that you'll never get anywhere if you keep going back to fix what you have. But the truth is - I'm a closet editor. As I go that is. Not to the point that I'm changing the same word fifty times, but I do go back before I'm done. WHY? Why do I choose to break this rule you ask?
Well, it could be that I'm a badass force to be reckoned with. Ha! No.
It could be that I'm weak and can't resist the urge. Um, yeah I do have problems with patience, but no. That's not the reason.
It's because sometimes I feel that I can't go forward without fixing things right then if I recognize a problem that will wind its way through my manuscript. It's sort of like building a tower of blocks, knowing that the foundation row is wobbly. If you don't fix it early on, it's only going to get worse.
So if I realize I'm missing a character for example (yes that's happened before), I go back and thread her through to the point I'm at before I continue. It's an important step in order to go forth with my manuscript.
What if I'm working on a paragraph and I use a cliche? Ah. That's a bit trickier. It certainly will slow me down to fix the wording and again, most people will say NO. But... if I can challenge myself right then and there to think of a better way to say it? I do it. You know why? Because it makes me feel better about going forward. It's going to have to be done anyhow.
See, I think that's a rule for beginners. Not to say I'm any better at writing necessarily, but it all depends WHY you're doing what you're doing. If you've never accomplished a finished manuscript you have to make that your first goal. You have to KNOW you can do it. So if you're fixing and messing about in order to avoid having to do what's tough or scary then quit it!!!
But if you're doing what you feel you should in order to build a stronger foundation for the rest and you're fully intending to go forward, go for it.
That's my two cents about this "rule". What do you think?