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Thinking While Writing

Lying in bed at night, staying up too late and seeing images in my head for stories I want to write but can't, is the thing I love about writing. Even though I can type as fast as I think, I can't think up the phrases for what I see quite as quickly. I could tell you about the writing process, but the writing process is very boring. I edit as I go along. This means I write either one word a day or a whole segment. What looks good is what goes on the page. I have a lot of days where I stare at the one word I wrote and can't figure out if that's the best thing to put down. I can't just write and let it be. I find that a bit insane. If a work is not perfect, it shouldn't be allowed.

There are lots of stories I see in total. I usually know how my story ends and how it begins. I see stories in segments. I plan ahead in segments. I never take notes. The only notes I have are the one-liners or names of things I want to look up. My desk has a stack of notepaper, but I hardly ever read my notes for my writing. By the end of a story, I usually erase 95% of any notes I've written for it without ever using them. I pace a lot. I like pacing. I talk the concept over with myself. I have discovered talking over concepts with other people doesn't help me. The whole critiquing process only works when I have people I trust reading the work. Much as I like new points of view, I know the people I trust will bash my work with spiky clubs and get it at the same time. For example, my best friend refused to read the first three iterations of my first novel for 7 years because it wasn't her cup of tea. But also because it sucked, and she was willing to tell me the writing was lame.

Of course, when she actually started sorta liking the thing, I reached the point where I knew my novel sucked and needed another rehaul.

I slam my own work harder than anyone else, because I can, and because this is the best way for me to edit it. As I've said, if a work is not perfect, it shouldn't be allowed. I hate seeing a work I'm not satisfied with get published, and so far, this has happened three times in my life.* Funnily enough, people seemed to like the pieces involved in the first two, which means I'm one of the few people left seething. You should see me editing something. It's a massacre. Took me a long time to get that far, but these days, I kill infants and stem cells and quit whining about it. I wonder what'll happen when the third imperfection comes to light.

I think, people will like it again, and I will be intrigued.

I'm going back to bed.

* This only works for prose. I usually ignore my bad poetry, however bad it is, and that's all three or four of my first years of getting published.