Friday, August 22, 2008

Playing With Words

I recently left a comment on a blog about which part of the writing process I really enjoyed. At that point, I put that I loved to edit - because that's when I got to play with words and really hone and shape them into what I want them to be.

But last night, I realized that I love to play with words when I'm actually writing the first draft. If my mindset is right and I'm not channeling that evil inner editor, the white space on my computer screen is the perfect opportunity to play. Anything goes. New word combinations. Unheard of similes. Crazy sentence structure.

Of course, if the evil inner editor is in residence, I don't get to play nearly as much. The editor's disapproving frown and finger-waving stops me in my tracks and makes me jump into the safety net of "acceptable" and "boring."

They key then, is to get rid of the evil editor (EE). If I can manage to sneak away to the playground without the EE noticing and maybe jump on the swings and bail out and then do a few tricks on the monkey bars and actually have fun while I write, then I can enjoy the writing process just as much as the editing process.

Here's to playing!


  1. That is what I'm enjoying about doing this "book" the way that I am doing it. I'm trying now to edit it too tightly and just let it be free flowing and see what direction it goes. I know it needs some order.

  2. Brian - that's the great thing about writing. You can go back and put it "in order" after you get it all written down. One of my favorite quotes about writing (and I don't know for sure who said it) goes something like, "The great thing about writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon."

  3. I'm a first draft girl all the way! I love seeing the story unfold on the page.

  4. Yep - playing with words is so much fun. And banishing the EE during draft 1 is paramount for me. It took me years to achieve it, but now that I have, my words flow a lot better :) Even if I end up changing them later, I had fun writing them in the first place.

  5. Anissa - Don't you just love writing? :-)

    Tess - So spill! What is the secret to banishing the dreaded EE?

  6. My favourite bit is the editing. I think I panic that I'll forget the story and have to get it down as quickly as possible. Once I have that first draft done, I breathe a huge sigh of relief and get out the red pen. I love that bit!

  7. I just LOOOOVE editing...NOT. I'm a one draft girl as you know. Editing for me is fixing the dropped words, the typos, the continuity issues. Once I've written the story, it doesn't change. Thank goodness my stories are so simplistic plot issues rarely come up.

  8. Shirley - Oh, I forget stuff all the time which is why I have to keep a journal for each book! Otherwise, my plots would have huge holes!

    Rene - I wish I was more that way - could write it all in one draft. It would go a lot quicker.


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