We writers enjoy writing, right? For those of us who don’t, there is just one thumb rule. In order not to kill our readers with our writing, we must ‘Enjoy what we do or Do what we enjoy.’ there is no other way.
Luckily, by and large, we writers so very love penning down and seeing our thoughts emerge in print. It gives us a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride, doesn’t it?
Some say it’s like motherhood, where you get to feel and nurture the whole process step by step, from the conception of the idea of what to write, right up to the birth of characters, who come alive through description, dialogues, plot, scene and eventually leading to a first draft.
As an author, you get to live in an imaginary world with your characters and watch them find their own way through the wares and tears of their life in the narrative. Sometimes it’s an amazing journey with a happy ending but many a time, it’s not. While writing the writer is swept by the same emotional winds of excitement, achievement, confusion, frustration and at times agony experienced by the protagonist and other sub-characters.
Though a writer has the superpowers of telepathy and can read his characters minds, which creates an all-powerful yet helpless feeling, as a writer prefers not to intrude into their thoughts and allows the characters to develop and live up to their full potential.
A writer must know where to draw the line, in short, what I mean is, that it is crucial for a writer to know when to stop and put a fullstop to the piece of art he or she has been tirelessly working on for days and nights at end, usually sipping on some black coffee during breaks and jotting down all that comes to the mind in a rough dairy. I know it works for me.
After spending loads of quality time writing, now comes the second part, where we as writers are on our own, a bit lonely after all the humdrum and chaos in the script, it’s time to realize that we can’t follow our characters anymore and have to be ruthless murders of words, sentences, and even paragraph, cutting chunks and replacing them with what would appeal most from a reader’s point of view.
Editing is one such difficult journey which writers prefer to let someone else have the privilege to, rather than doing it ourselves, not all writers have the heart to do it, on the other hand, we are bound to slip up as it carries the risk of overlooking clichés and grammatical errors, we already know the story which appears fresh in our minds that most often we subconsciously indulge in predictive reading and miss out on mistakes. Trying to even out our work we may end up with a not so very pleasant stage of decision-making, dampening our conscience and questioning our sanity. Writers are often tempted to add more to the first draft or wonder if they are on the right track? Or is boredom creeping in? dealing with such illusionary thoughts is quite a mouthful to swallow.
Editing is no easy job but if done by the author it is always best to leave the first draft to rest for a while, giving a gap of at least a fortnight to a month before beginning the procedure of reading and rereading while preparing the final draft. This gives the writer a clearer unbiased view which helps in doing justice to the main script.
( To be continued…)
© Annadine Charles.