Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON
Okay, so my mailbox is filling up and it’s time to start clearing the backlog from other writers, even as I get into the closing chapters of my second novel, Muskoka Maharani.
Gene Bach got in touch and made this observation about his process:
"I don't usually run into a road block when I'm writing a story. When it comes time to rewrite it and fix the mistakes, well, that's a whole 'nother ball game."
You're lucky, Gene. There is always one part of the process that is slower than the other. Every writer has to self-edit at some stage, so you're on the right track. Which would you rather be - a fast writer who is a slow editor, or a really slow writer who edits quickly? I'd go for the first option every time.
Eve Nielsen, whose prodigious output while writing her book leaves me open-mouthed with admiration, said:
"It's amazing to me how writing anything reveals so much about yourself (the author)."
Aye, Eve. Whether we like it or not, writing is a window to our soul. Doesn't matter if it's a short story, a long essay, a doctoral thesis or a full-length book. It's like opening a direct-access pathway to the way our mind works. The best writing is that which reflects our soul. Ergo, the best writing, in turn, must reveal that soul to the readers.
Nessa thanked me for my advice about getting started and said:
"I often have a hard time starting because I want the first draft to be perfect. I've found it helps to just get the idea on paper (screen) not worrying about any of the "rules" and then going back and adjusting. This often works very well."
Yes, Nessa, I work in much the same way. I get into a groove and just keep writing. I only edit my novels when I've completed them. I guess that way it's a lot easier to see what can be improved, what can be cut out, what can be explained better and what needs to be explained in greater detail.