I listened to a podcast the other day and Neil Gaiman was the guest.
One of the thing that stuck out to me was his fondness for fountain pens. According to Neil, the reason sentences were so long, back in the day, was because they had a flow with the fountain pen and couldn’t stop writing unless they blotch the page.
I love anecdotes like this, it makes the world a bit more loveable.
If you can’t stop at every other word you have to think ahead before putting pen to paper. I never do that. I just write whatever comes to mind, I never think ahead and I’m wondering, is that a bad thing? According to Neil, using a fountain pen you get the kind of sentence you wanted from the start, instead with a computer, you fiddle with it until it become what you wanted.
I’m guilty of editing a lot and I can’t even imagine people who write ‘correctly’ from the beginning. How can you write a story and not edit everything as you go? How can you write and then say the story is done without editing major swaths of it?!
When I write a book, I feel like I write several stories worth because I edit so much.
They say write as fast as possible on the first draft to get all of the ideas out quickly, and then at the second draft, you basically write the story as it’s supposed to be. The third draft is just the minor editing that doesn’t affect the plot a lot.
That’s not at all how things go down.
My first draft is short and my second is also short, then I have a third and a 5th and it becomes longer and longer until it becomes a book.
Maybe my approach to writing is wrong or maybe it’s the stories I choose to develop… Either way, I have a feeling that I’m making it harder for myself.