I made a couple of mistakes in my last blog and want to thank alert readers Don from Denver and Lois from Louisville for bringing the most blatant of these errors to my attention.
I misspelled enchilada, and believe me I should know better. I spelled it with two ‘l’s.’ In Spanish, two ‘l’s is pronounced ‘y’ which would make it’s pronunciation enchi-YADA, which might be fine for an old Seinfeld episode, but does not sound nearly as appetizing. I should have edited more carefully. Mea Culpa. Which is Latin for ‘I thought nobody would notice.’
My second error was a bit more subtle. I was addressing the topic of rewriting and said that a manuscript is written and rewritten in its initial creation. That could be misconstrued and since I feel it a matter of some importance I’d like to be a bit more precise.
My actual practice is quite the opposite. When I begin a novel, I do not backtrack and check for errors and I do not rewrite along the way, not in the first draft. Yes, I will often start a writing session going back about five pages before my stopping point, but that’s just to read and regain the feel of the pacing I had when I stopped – not to check for errors. I feel it is very important to begin at the beginning and end at the end and write at the most consistent pace possible from one point to the other.
I have known people who agonize and rewrite through every phase of their writing. They rarely finish their work.
One of the reasons I favor writing to the end and completing the first draft before going back to the beginning to rewrite, is that the ending you first imagine may change drastically from your original conception as you get deeper into your story and your characters develop. That third chapter you spent weeks fretting over may wind up having little or no relation to the new conclusion. All that time, lost.
They say there’s time enough for sleep beyond the grave. There’ll be time enough for rewriting when you get to those two welcome words, The End, though you’ll find them to be imposters. When you first arrive at ‘the end,’ you’ll only discover that you’ve really reached a whole new beginning.
Savor the journey.