I adore Twitter. I hear the most interesting things. Yesterday I saw this tweet.
@lilithsaintcrow: Write first, edit later. No, seriously. You need the corpse finished and on the table before autopsy.
It really struck a chord in me because it is SO SO true! Revision truly is like doing an autopsy because, really, you’re looking for anything that causes death (or weakens) your story. When you send your darling off to an agent or publisher or whomever, you want it to be the best it can be. And so you suss out everything that could possibly lead to death for your book once it gets out into the wide world.
You wouldn’t do an autopsy on a live person, now would you? I mean, unless you’re an ancient Egyptian and you’re mummifying somebody alive, which is really a whole other metaphor actually…
I’ve been struggling with a love scene all week, and I have been editing as I go. It’s a habit I’ve tried to get out of with the rest of the work, but these types of scenes, well because I find them so very difficult to write, I tend to edit with each (numerous) pass, which has actually led to what might be considered a Mary Sue Love Scene in which I’ve tried to include all kinds of conflicting stuff because I can’t make up my mind.
What I need to do, as many of my cheerleaders this week have mentioned, is to just push straight through like I would on any other scene. Easier said than done. I tend to be somewhat ghoulish on this type of scene, picking and hacking even as I bring it to life. But I swear I’m going to make an effort. After that it’s back to the rest of my nice, clearly outlined plot. Thank God.