Catching Myself

Anne Here.

You've crafted a quick response or finished something and you send it out into the world but then, seconds after, you realize you should have said something else. That you should have changed a sentence or a phrase or even the entire thing before you sent it out. The anxiety that scenario gives me is unreal.

Yet, that's exactly how my editing process seems to be.

To put it simply; I am impatient.

I was reading one of the chapters for a story of mine that is in the process of being edited for publication (if I can get any feedback from my published, but that's not important right now.) Anyway, I read the last chapter, for some reason, and I realized I wanted the villain to be different. I felt as though the story was predictable, which is fine, I like to be predictable. Being predictable means that you know there will be a soft ending. No surprises and if there are surprises they are pleasant.

Predictable is fine for me as the reader or viewer - mostly. As a writer, I really don't like to be predictable, but I find myself falling into it more often. Now, with this story, I've had some feedback on it stating that it was obvious that the stepmother did it. I painted the story into a corner I didn't see until I was done with it and told myself I would fix it in editing.

Well, I edited it, and kept the same villain, in the same way, and didn't change much about her or how she does her dirty deeds. But now, like a year later, I want to change her and it's going to be messy.

I really hate when I have the good ideas after the original plan, but I guess that's the whole point of editing that I haven't really gotten through to my brain yet. I've been doing this for a long time, mostly not well, and it's high time I start doing things the way they should be done. Is there a direct process that needs to be followed? Like a flow chart that's organized for every part of the writing and editing process? Probably. Will I be using something like that? No. I don't have the attention span for that much organization (yet I'm a Virgo, make it make sense.)

Maybe it's because something like that feels like it's telling me what to do, which usually I like. I don't have a lot of direction on my own. But when it's something like this, my writing, then I don't want to hear people telling me what to do. Tips are fine, but please, let me be a pantser in peace.

So, this week and weekend, baring I can get my weekly duties done for my writing, I will be killing and fixing the villain in a story while thinking about changing POVs on another. I honestly hope I do not end up doing that, because that's the worst thing in writing. Give me all the bad reviews and tell me I suck, but don't make me change POVs when I've finished the story. But that little part of me that says it would be better if it was in first person with switching POVs for other characters has won before, and I'm stupid enough to listen to it.

It's high time for me to start catching myself on these projects. I want to do so many things but I'm not always willing to clean up the mess (story of my life). The guilt is real when it comes to this sort of thing and I need to stop feeling these things and do something about them. Let's pull ourselves up, dust off the pants, and get a routine for editing down, shall we?

Maybe if we collectively agree that editing is the worst part of writing, it will eventually go away. If we all believe our first draft is the best thing to happen, no one will disagree because they too are using their gross first drafts to make ours look better? I doubt that will work, and I'm rambling again, so I'll say goodbye for now.

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