Distance

I know Wednesdays are supposed to be Cover Girl days, but that’s not going to happen this time. Next week — promise.

Today I’d like to ramble about distance. Everyone over at AW (a super cool place that you should check out sometime) recommends the same thing about distance: it’s NECESSARY

For example, when you finish the rough draft of your novel, you should wait at least a week, preferably longer, before beginning edits. And then, when you think the novel is done, set it aside for another week or two before coming back to it with fresh eyes.

I disagreed with that for a long time. Mostly I’m just obsessive, and I never wanted to wait a week or two because I was too excited to edit. So I’d plunge into new drafts with excited eyes, but not fresh eyes.

With THE INBETWEEN, I took a break. Well, lots of breaks because it took me a year and a half to finish. But the biggest break was from the middle of August (when I finished) until yesterday, September 15th. Almost a month. Granted, that was because I have no life anymore and no time to write. But it completely convinced me that distance is necessary.

As I was skimming the manuscript before sending it off to agent #2, I fell in love with distance. I was so close to the story in August that I had every sentence almost memorized, and my mind would supply words that weren’t there, automatically fix the typos in my head. Bad. But yesterday, since I had forgotten most of the sentences, I saw everything. There were so many embarrassing typos. So many missing words.

Distance is good.

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2 Comments

Filed under writing

2 responses to “Distance

  1. bigwords88

    The urge to say “I told you so” is overwhelming, but I’ll let it pass. The important thing is that you have learned to keep from getting so emotionally attached to the work (’cause it’s the “w”-word, no matter what you might think) that you can’t bring yourself to change anything.

    I’m sure you will see more corrections which you need to make if you put it to one side after these edits are done. A second read-through, then (if you need it) a third, will iron out all of the clumsy, clunky text which requires attention.

    Good luck with the edits.

  2. writerkirsty

    … you can say you told me so… because everyone did. at least now I know for the future 🙂

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