Wednesday, January 03, 2007

In My Craw

I write a lot. I've got tons of writing just clogging up my computer. Some of it might be good, but I have trouble separating it from the okay and the dreck and then putting it together into something presentable.

It's not enough to have good writing. The presentation has to be good. It must reach a satisfying conclusion, whether there is a traditional ending or not.

I've got this one project, my longest bit of sustained writing. Nearly 75,000 words. This was the first time I ever attempted to just write without going back and editing.

Editing a piece before its finished is the easiest way to ensure that you will never, ever finish something. I'm sure there are people out there who find it easy to do, but I have never met them.

My father's own book is several years past deadline because, not only does he keep finding reasons to begin new chapters, he cannot stop himself from editing previous chapters over and over again even as he composes new ones. It's a sickness.

I have avoided the demon of editing before the thing is finished proper.

But that has become the problem.

The beastly thing, I cannot end it. I do anything to avoid writing the ending. I blog. I play videogames. I surf websites. I watch TV. I go to work.

Even when I sit down and start writing - pages from the end - with my goal in sight, I just cannot seem to get these characters to stop doing so much damn weird stuff and just wrap shit up. There's always something else that needs to happen before something else can happen before . . . and then somewhere there's an ending.

So this is my curse. I can't even break my own rule and go back over earlier chapters because I have purged all desire to edit before the thing is finished. Good going, me.

Someday it will end. It must end.

And I must end it.

After I watch Futurama.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Hey I just got Futurama on DVD, good stuff. Not as funny qua funny as say, Family Guy, but inventive enough to compensate.

I completed one novel when I was 17, ~300 pages 12pt, double spaced; not sure how many words that totals. I started five others and completed none of them because I started editing stuff before it was finished. You can get away with that on short stories, but not fucking novels.