My Favorite Part(s) Of The Writing Process

One thing I have learned while surfing the blog-o-sphere is that some people actually enjoy the editing process.  This is a very foreign concept to me & is something I am still struggling to understand.  To me the editing process is a lot like getting beat up over & over & over & over & over again, then just when you think it is over somebody else walks over, kicks you in the stomach, and then spits on you. Now some of you might think I am exaggerating, I’m not.

Thinking about how much I loathe editing my work got me thinking about my favorite part of the writing process, and strangely enough it is right before my finger hits that first key on my keyboard.  At this point in time my head is full of this wonderful world, interesting characters, and this powerful tale that is just screaming to be put into words.  Before I type that first word I know the story I have in my head is likely to morph into something unexpected and take me down a road I wasn’t planning on traveling.  In that moment there are no worries or reservations, I don’t feel like I can do any wrong.

Coming in at a close second is when I type that last period, when the journey comes to an end.  When I finally take a step back and try to wrap my mind around where I have just gone.

I find it interesting (and a bit disconcerting) that technically my favorite parts of the writing process are not actually when I am writing  🙂   I enjoy the promise before I start and the satisfaction once I have finished.  What about yourselves, what is your favorite part of the writing process?

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “My Favorite Part(s) Of The Writing Process

  1. I also enjoy the prelude to writing:) I often daydream it out(seriously, I wouldn’t notice a comet hitting my head!), and often put myself in my characters shoes and think about what they would do and feel in a given situation based upon their past, hopes, fears, and how this would alter the story itself. I think the creation of characters and foreign cultures(which I’m interested in on a general basis as well) is what I enjoy the most, however, these usually best shows in my edited scenes. This is when it truly comes alive. Well, for me anyway:) But yeah, editing can be boring too, I’ll admit:P

  2. Editing is my least favorite part also. It is like the anti-writing. You take the countless hours of hard face-to-keyboard smashing of words into coherence and transform them into sharp pointed spears of enlightenment. Oh sure that sounds awesome, but you are slowly carving your baby into delicious bacon.

    For example; You take a 100 word page and trim it down to 80, it is just ok. Then down to 60, and it is great. Then to 50 and it is fucking pure genius. It is a necessity, but not one I particularly enjoy.

    I’m getting over it.

  3. I hate editing as well, but it’s kinda like picking up your toys after all your friends came over to play. And, playing is when you are all the way into the story and your fingers are just trying to keep up with the movie in your head.

  4. I like the freedom that editing give me to try to make what I’ve written closer to what I envisioned, but I’m with you in enjoying the moments before I start writing more than the actual process sometimes. The story always seems so much richer in my head.

  5. Marcie Hill

    I’m a true scholar, so enjoy the entire process from brainstorming to researching to editing. I have at least 100 drafts of stories in one folder, but I know the final projects will be absolutely amazing.

  6. jaredbernard

    I agree with Marcie and Robin. Rarely do thoughts come to a person in a chronological or otherwise logical manner; a globular nebulous thing must somehow be transcribed and articulated. Many writers say the key to a good story, fiction or non, is the almighty outline. Take that garbled gibberish and spread it out like jam on toast. Mold it until it resembles the crazy monster in your head, filling out parts and doing research. In that sense, the first and last keys struck on your first draft are arbitrary because the process of shaping your concoction continues. You’ll have roughed it out, from crude outline to annotated whatever and beyond. How could it not? You have a masterpiece in your mind and new ideas have continued to craft it even after your initial inspiration encouraged you to get off your ass and actually do it, so how could you decide — ever — that what you’ve created is perfect, that you’ve missed nothing, no small thing that could make it better? What’s that they say, “the journey is the goal, not the destination?” Spoken by someone not looking for an agent, I guess. But, walk down that trail with pride that you have an idea, art, inside and you are making it. Just know that there is, I’ve heard, some indistinguishable barrier between art and over-editing. I think I read somewhere that Renoir or some other famous guy kept sneaking back into museums to touch up his paintings. He never felt like they were done. The best answer, I suppose, is to keep molding until you feel like your work is done… and then step back and rethink your feeling, wondering what a publisher will think.

  7. amaranthmine

    I spend a lot of time daydreaming before I write, playing out the scene in my head and taking note of little moments that stand out. Writing itself is rather a painful process to start, then once I get the ball rolling it comes easier. My biggest problem is looking back on the last lines I wrote and editing them in my head before I even finish.

    Editing is probably my favorite part of the writing process… It’s when I get to tweak and vamp my creation, sculpt it to make clearer images and more poignant emotions. It’s also nice to look back and see proof that I actually can string words together with coherency! I know my ideas won’t come out exactly the way I imagined them, and the first draft always seems like a horrid mess. I love editing because I get to go back and refine the mess into a discernible picture.

  8. I like editing as a concept, because I know I’m making a better piece. But it’s just like that scene in Palaniuk’s Fight Club when Tyler Durden beats himself up.
    But by destroying himself, he manages to become a better person.
    Except you know… the same thing, but with words rather than a broken nose.

  9. Hey excellent description of the Editing process.Excellent piece.

  10. I used to hate editing and think I really didn’t need to do it. That it somehow diminished the purity of the first draft. (Oh, the drama!) However, since I’ve been blogging, I realize it’s importance more and more.

    Your description of being hit over and over again is a good description. The key for me was to start hitting back. This line’s not working? BAM! Take that. This one’s too wordy? POW! A quick cut and we’re almost there.

    Sometimes I find it helpful to let the work sit for a while. Maybe even over a night or a week before we spar again.

    My favorite part of writing? When I know intuitively I’ve nailed it.

  11. I must add editing has saved me from typos and misspellings more than I care to admit. For example, had I done a better job of editing my comment above, I’d been spared the mistake. Can you find it? Unnecessary apostrophe, third line…

  12. oldsalt1942

    Editing is where the book is really created.

  13. Pingback: Cutting Room Floor | everyday epistle

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