Bad Habit, Good Results.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Most bad habits have bad results:

Habit - smoking

Habit - overindulgence of favourite foods

Habit - slacking off scholastically

heh,heh, I kid, I kid. Anywho...

One of my bad writing habits is tweaking. I constantly revise/edit as I write. When things are going well, no problem. But when things are going bad, it feels like I'm just spinning my wheels. Now I *know* a bunch of you are going to say, just push forward, and for gawdssake enough with the tweaking already! But I can't.

Tweaking helps me settle into the character/story and the rhythm/pacing. Every time I've pushed forward, the characters eventually stop talking to me (after all, I'm not listening, am I? I'm pushing forward with the story in my head, which may not be *their* story <--this is just my experience. Flying through the first draft works just dandy for many people).

So there I was tweak, tweak, tweaking my life away on the current wip. I couldn't figure out why, either. The day before I'd actually jumped pages and started right in on new stuff, yet there I was spinning my wheels over and over and over again on this one section. Finally it dawned on me that I kept skimming this one part when I tried to do a straight read through. I took a closer look at it structurally. It was a bit on introspection from the heroine re her calling/profession that slowed the pace a bit; but more importantly I saw how it would be better to use that chunk of introspection later in the story in dialogue, when there would be more at stake and more conflict. In the meantime, I could 'show' the importance of the profession through bits of action, where she would be required to display her skill.

So because of a little tweaking I've: picked up the pace, cut down on the chances of circular/repetitive thinking, upped the opportunities for characterization by now knowing I need to show the heroine in action and I've discovered a thread of conflict that will play out later on in the book.

Some people take showers, some people go for walks, some people brainstorm. I tweak.
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Jordan Summers said...

Love the pictures. As for tweaking, if it works for you, then do it. :o)

Jaye said...

It's something I've really, really, struggled with, but lately I've accepted it as an important part of the process for me. No more fighting against it. :-P

ps. I have fun with the pics.

Anonymous said...

You hsve a great sense of humour...and, the patience to tweak.. as Martha would say..."that's a good thing."

Danica said...

You are my opposite then... I'd rather die than tweak.

raine said...

Tweak, if you need to tweak!
Doesn't everybody do it at some point?

My only problem is knowing when I'm tweaking for the good of the story, or using it as an excuse to procrastinate on the writing. It's not always easy for me to tell. :-/

Kat said...

That picture of the woman is just wrong. Wrong, wrong, ... wrong, wrong, wrong.

Tweak away. Everyone has something they do to make it come. Who wants to forge forward, ignore characters, only to have it beat you over the head 5 chps down the line?

Michelle said...

Hey, you have to go with whatever process works best for you. I revise the previous scene before I do the next one. It works for me. :)

Sasha said...

Love the humour!

As for tweaking. we all need to accept the way that works best for us. :)

Karen Scott said...

You've just scarred me for life. The picture of that obese woman is wronger than wrong.

Amie Stuart said...

>>slacking off scholastically

BWAAAAAAAAAAAA (Sorry Raine I had to steal that one).

Girl, you make my writing brain hurt

Amie Stuart said...

P. S. I'm with Danica...I'm not a tweaker but I *do* know when something's wrong, so yeah I listen to that gut.

Different keystrokes for different fokes

Avid Reader said...

Dude, I nearly gagged on my food. Good pics.

Sela Carsen said...

And awen't oo jus the cutest widdle tweaker? Yes, oo are!

Sorry. For some reason, this post just brought it home that tweaking is the most adorable word.

Jaye said...

As for the second pic, I was kind to you folks. I came across a somewhat X-rate gif.file that I could have used.... *sigh* sometimes I wish I didn't have to keep at least a modicrum of professionalism on this blog. lol.

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