Covering the canvas, in writing terms, means to get the words down on the paper: don't think about them too much, don't try and craft them, then go back and make revision after revision. Instead, just get them down and fix them later.
I covered this in an earlier post and since then, I've been trying to follow my own advice.
But I'm realizing there may be a rather large pitfall associated with this method.
What is that pitfall?
My current work-in-progress, a World War II thriller, has lots of twists and turns. And as I cater to the "pantser" method (i.e. I don't do an extensive outline, but rather wait to see where the writing takes me), this means there is a lot I don't know going into it. This also means that I can come up with some pretty darn brilliant ideas. However, at the end of the day, all of that means one thing: a lot more work.
I have another novel in the works right now that isn't nearly so difficult. I have the bare minimum outline done, I know the major plot points, and it should be fairly smooth sailing to the end. Plus, I won't have a lot of editing and revising to do as far as changing the plot structure. This is not so with the current novel.
Which leads me to beg the question: in this instance, is "covering the canvas" worth it? Because let's face it: at the rate I'm going now, with all the fixing this novel needs, it's probably going to take me as long to edit it as it will to write it. In the end, is it worth it? Now this isn't to say that I should abandon every project that is hard work. But in reality, some novels are easier to write than others.
This is something I really need to mull. I love this story. I love the characters and their conflicts and how it all works so well. Unfortunately, my plotting is all over the place, something I've never experienced before. So. Do I just go ahead, push through, and finish the darn thing, set it aside for awhile, then pick it back up with fresh eyes and get to work? Or should I stop now and finish hacking out the plot? Or do I just go to my other, much-easier work-in-progress and finish it while leaving the thriller for a few months? My only fear with that is trying to get back "into" the story as much as I'm "in" it now.