I’m down to the last chapter of Camp Expendable, writing new material and editing at the same time. It was a last-minute decision to break this chapter off from the previous one, which would have been an absolute monster in size. The chapter also picks up from the open end of the previous chapter and finishes everything off neatly. But it’s only about 1,400 words, while the rest are anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 words. And there’s still stuff to be said.
I was just reading a blog post by another writer, about the left side/right side concept of where the brain comes up with the creative stuff. He knows as well as I do that the brain isn’t actually divided as neatly as that, but it’s a handy way of thinking about it. I don’t see myself as terribly creative, and since my approach to writing has a strong logical slant, maybe I’m either predominantly left-brained but still manage to squeeze out stuff that’s moderately creative, or I’m straddling a tightrope in the middle. That could be why it’s easy for me to create and edit more or less simultaneously.
That’s what I do during National Novel Writing Month, while all the other experienced writers are screaming about how you have to kill your editor, or at least shove it in the closet so it doesn’t get in the way of churning out those 50,000 words. Not only is it easy and natural for me to write that way, I’d probably go nuts if someone told me that I absolutely wouldn’t be permitted to edit until the whole thing was written. The result is, that while everyone else is bemoaning the pile of crap they have to show for 30 days of sweat and agony, I have something I wouldn’t be ashamed to show around — if I were the kind of person who likes to show my work around.
Different strokes, folks. And the blog post is: The two brains of the writer (or really any person/artist)