It's All About Words

1000 Hours of Writing: Hours 80 - 100 

And the next 20 hours passed by. This time I completed 20 hours in exactly 20 days meaning that I had an average of one hour per day. For someone who is not a professional writer this time is justifiable. As promised I wanted to spend the last October week writing. Spending the hours buried in a text document while my mind was in fictional worlds, wondering if "cake" or "pastry" sounds better. Oh the joys. Then I made a discovery, which nobody was told me about: Writing is obsessing over words - shocking ey? - and the main task will not be writing in itself but 2/3rd are editing.


When I get an idea, I usually write down a sentence as a way to remember. Unless I am able to write it out in the next three days, in that case I tend to remember. But as we've discovered last time it is not always possible to write when you want to write. 

Then a glorious day begins, I've had enough tea and coffee to get the creative juices flowing. So I sit down at the desk, turn on the right music, start the laptop and begin to type. Words get twisted, sentences are being written, mistakes are produced. After half to a full hour we have the structure. There is a beginning, a middle bit and an ending. For some people that is that: They post it, promote it countless of times on Twitter, and wonder what they'll eat for lunch today. 

I leave it, I run a spellchecker over it. But I need a break before I begin editing. Depending on how pressing the deadline is I leave it for a day or other times only two hours. Then I sit down again, obsessing over each word. I wonder if it would sound better to leave the "just" out, or put it at the end. Would it change the meaning of the sentence? Every single word will be checked. Whole sentences are re-written, even paragraphs. I have ditched whole paragraphs. This is what I commonly call re-vamping. It is time consuming, and you are going to make major changes. This way it's nicer to read, you can create double meanings, add bits of information you didn't know by heart ... 

Done that, time for posting, right? No. 

Another day passes, and I sit down again, I turn on the right music again, and I start the laptop again. I open the same document, it sighs because I can't let it sleep. It is desperate for some rest. However, now it is time for what I call editing. I re-read it again, look for little faults. It's the step in which I notice that "time consuming" is a much nicer way of saying "it takes ages." I make sure that there is a nice reading flow, no awkward spelling mistakes, and everything makes sense. I give my text the nice polish it deserves. 

Of course, some people have an editor, in the world of fanfiction this is called a beta. And yes, I use my beta as well but she gets the work after those steps. I can't give her an empty sheet, I'd feel stupid if I'd give her a first draft, and dumb if it's a draft in which she'd find a better way to say things - she still does but that's learning, or different opinions - and yes, she will find awkward spelling mistakes because I can't find everything. Then the whole thing comes back and I get to work the corrects into it. 

Finally, we copy the writing into blogger, in the future Drive Tribe, or Ao3. I give it a final read for the last hideous mistakes that have been lurking around the corner. Then I click "post."

The deed is done. And yet, nobody has ever told me that editing makes up so much of writing. If you aren't obsessed with words, and don't wonder if you could express this differently, or if it takes on another meaning by putting it like this, what are you doing then?

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