|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
Talk About Your Worst Writing Habit and What You Do To Avoid It
Perhaps the worst thing I slip into over and over again is self-editing myself when I am still in the process of following a thought in an outline or an early rough draft. Half way down a page I will stop to think about the next sequence of actions, the next scene, maybe a bit of dialogue that will fit just right and my eyes will wander up the page. Maybe I've used the same word repeatedly to start a sentence, or misspelled something, or entered a question that really is just off the wall and I'll pause right there and begin re-writing. This is a time when I really have to grab myself by my fairly scruffy neck and just slap the living be-jesus out of me.
I'm not ready for that yet and if I allow myself to do it I'm back at the title page obsessing about font size or whether I should maybe just use my first two initials and my last name in the by-line or go after the damned computer with an impressively large hammer and take up painting houses when I'm done! If I give in to the hesitation I'm all over the place in no time and instead of getting the outline down and establishing the prototype of my story curve I'm dragging out thesauruses and dictionaries and going totally irrational over whether the love interest SHOULD do this, or COULD do this or, MIGHT hang herself from the tree outside the main character's bedroom window if I just don't bloody well get on with the job at hand!
The only thing at that I can do is say screw the fine points and dive right back in where I left off. At most I might make a cryptic note or two relating to having stopped there (which, in all truth, will mean nothing by the time I come back). But this is not the moment for stumbling around trying to fine tune what needs to be written down in thought provoking generalities. If it gets really bad I will just begin banging out a list of questions ad nauseum until I shake the Mr. Hyde impulse and am on my way again, fumbling through the fog.
So, there it is, in all its warty glory. I have rarely been so graced as to have one of those stories that just wrote itself and I if I do I'll truly start believing I've schizo'ed completely. In the meanwhile, I'm still soliciting short fiction to 1200 words, poetry to 25 lines, and well thought out essays for the Your Work/Your Love page. The usual caveat, no pay, just glory. Contributors retain all rights. You can also follow or subscribe to this blog. I appreciate the company. As always, comments, critique, or questions are welcome and I will reply as quickly as possible.
So, looking to the next time, and remember...live,love,write.
Dane F. Baylis