Okay, I’m officially back.
l have been for a while. Unfortunately I haven’t felt like I really had that much to say.
Ever since I’ve been writing again, I’ve felt like my writing is like a cycle, because I’ll my ideas are much better than I presently know how to write, so all I can do is keep writing lousy stuff and then progressively deleting the lousiest parts and replacing it with better stuff, with the result that it is getting better and better.
I’m glad I moved on to this stage though. I’m kind of a pack rat for words, and I used to write lots, most of it bad, and then get all hung up on the bad stuff I’d written, or the stuff that was good, but I didn’t know how to fit in with everything else because my ideas were still in flux. But recently, I’ve discovered a solution that’s making be very excited.
One piece of writing advice that I always thought was good was to “skip the boring parts.” It makes sense. Sure, different things are boring to different people, so I’ll never be able to cut out everybody’s boring parts, but I’m the author, so if my own boring parts are still in there and I’m not enjoying what I’ve already written, I must be doing it wrong. Even though I’d always liked this advice though, I had a hard time following it because a lot of times there was bad stuff and good stuff mixed in together, making me scared to delete the parts that were less than what I wanted in case bits of them were still salvageable, but still wanting to replace them as a whole with something new.
Then I realized that I’d been approaching writing/editing the wrong way. I had this idea that stuff had to be either in the working document or I had to delete it. But then I realized that just because I don’t want something in my story at the moment doesn’t exactly mean I have to throw it out.
Instead, I put it inside another document called “The boring parts.” It’s full of all the passages that aren’t as good as the ones I’m writing right now, but might have a sentence or two worth saving for later. It’s my way of letting go of story baggage without really letting go of it, keeping it elsewhere as a tool that I can pull out again just in case.
And I’ve discovered by doing this that I make room both in my story document and in my mind for “non-boring parts” to flow in in place of what I cut out. I’m still not technically a good enough writer to do my ideas justice, but I’m hacking my way up there.
And no, I’m never going to let anybody read the boring parts, ever.