Saturday, November 7, 2009

Snip, snip, snip...

I am working on my novel for the National Novel Writing Month competition. Competition in a sense because I'm not actually competing with anyone but myself. This year I hope to finally complete my 50,000 words by the end of November.

So the following is a passage from my novel. I've been playing around with it, tinkering. We are not supposed to nitpick at this point, but I can't help it. After I finished reading the wonderful novel, Water for Elephants the other day, I found myself looking at my own prose differently, scrutinizing each line. The copy I borrowed was the large print version, and now when I close my eyes at night, I see big words running across the canvas of my dreams. Very strange.

This passage from my novel is pretty self-explanatory.

Standing before the mirror, April checked herself out. Her hair needed brushing so she removed a brush from her purse. As she swept it through her hair, a dim memory surfaced of her mother brushing her hair when she was little. A fond memory for sure, but one of the only good ones she could recall. Most of what she could remember was just a vast amount of time spent alone since her mother often neglected her. Alone in her room, she found solace in her books and drawings. And, of course, her imaginary friends. April stopped brushing and stared at her reflection. Her mother had told her she had beautiful hair, the kind men would admire one day. Her mother had the same kind of hair and primped for hours whenever she was going out. April was too young to know where her mother went at night. She thought perhaps her mom was a waitress at some cocktail place, but didn't know for sure. All she knew was that her mother went out night after night instead of being there to help her with her homework or talk to her or spend any time with her.

I've just gone over this passage again, making a few more snips. I keep finding new things to fix.

So what's your writing method? Keep fixing as you go, or wait 'til later?


  1. My method is to write, then fix once I hit the end. If I try and edit as I go, I find myself never progressing.


  2. Yeah. I hear ya. That's why I never finish anything.

  3. Kathy, with a first draft I try to just write it, but I do end up doing a little editing as I go.