Friday, March 30, 2007

I've Awakened the Monster

by G.Parker

Okay, so it's not really a monster, it's my sweet husband. But he's still the edit Nazi. He came with me to the writing conference this past weekend, wanting to put faces with the names of the people I've talked about. I hoped he would be interested in some of the classes, but there were no expectations.

He went to the outlining class by Jeff Savage and the editing class by Julie Bellon. Hoooboy. Last night I was working on a story that I started in James class on Fantasy (thanks for letting me use your example, James!) and I invited him to read the first page.

Now - when I invite someone to read my work when I'm just starting to write it, I'm NOT asking for editing help or suggestions. I just want them to read and see if the whole idea is good. I'm asking if they like it and would continue. I'm not even thinking editing yet.

The first thing he tells me is that I need to cut out one of my sentences and that I've used the same word twice in the paragraph. ARGH! Then he continued down the page, and I started hitting him. He just laughed at me. He claims I'm the one that took him to the conference, what did I expect?


What frustrates me the most is how much he remembers, and is able to apply it so well. Because, well, most of - well, okay - 90% of what he suggested was better. Ouch. It's so frustrating. Why does he remember this stuff? I do okay when I'm going back over and editing, but when writing, I turn the inner-editor off. I've learned this through doing Nano for three years. I thought that was a good thing, but it's hard when he sees the errors before I do.

The upside is now I've got my own built in editor! Not that he has a lot of spare time to read and edit my stuff, but at least he'll be great at it. Now if I can just convince him to let me finish the rough draft first...


Marsha Ward said...

Thanks for the autograph, G. It was so fun to see your husband striding around the halls, obviously enjoying himself.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I heartily recommend hiding your first draft from him. Get all your thoughts out on paper and then go back to organize, like you're used to doing, and then have him edit it for you. You'll both be happy this way. :)

But how great to have a built-in editor! How would it be?? My husband loves to read what I've written but he is so complimentary, he rarely points out mistakes. It's great to have that kind of support, though -- what am I complaining about? :)

Darvell Hunt said...

Steven King recommends that you write your first draft "with the door closed," allowing yourself to write uninhibited, free from what anybody will think about it.

Seconds drafts are there so you can weed what you've planted before others get a chance to see it. Second drafts and beyond are what you should begin giving to people to read.

I rarely let anybody read my first drafts, but then, I'm very frank in my writing. Sometimes too frank, as some of those who have read some of my stuff might tell you. I like having that buffer between giving myself complete freedom to write what I feel and the second draft where I expose myself to others.

I've heard some people say, "Write naked!", but I would add to that, "Please put on a robe when submitting to readers!" (For example, if I had given this post a second draft, I might have removed this paragraph, or maybe not, but at least I would give myself the choice before someone else sees it.)

Hey, this sounds like the beginnings for a new blog entry...

(Oh, by the way, does anybody hate my updated picture? The previous was taken probably about five years ago.)