04 March 2013

To Write or Edit?

So the good news is that on Friday, I completed my contest submission (much thanks to my muse for putting up with depression and PMS to get through it). I sent in the first fifty pages of my novel about two hours shy of the deadline, along with a painstakingly crafted outline—you know how I hate those.

Now the only question is: what do I do now? My editing process brought me through the first five chapters (after completely cutting Chapter Two) out of the eleven I had written. So do I plow onward with the editing, or jump back to Chapter Twelve? It’s a tough decision. I feel as though I’ve been avoiding the next chapter for a while, and not just because of the contest, but because I know it will be difficult to write. A huge part of me just wants to pick up where I left off and finish the book, and finally have a complete first draft.

On the other hand, it makes more sense to keep editing. If I move into the final round of this contest, I’ll need to submit the next fifty pages as well, probably sometime in June. Wouldn’t it be easier just to have it done already, just in case?

Also, I’ve been so focused on the beginning of the book that it might be a little weird to jump ahead. I’ve gotten into a groove with the voice and tone, and to write a part where my characters are at a different stage of their relationship might be a little odd. I might want to get through what I’ve already written and edit it to how I want it to be, then when I start writing again, what needs to happen and how the characters should act will be much clearer.

Plus—bonus! The next chapter I would have to edit includes the scene when my characters (finally) have their first kiss. Which I just love. Side note—is it totally wrong of me to think my characters are adorable? Am I some kind of sick pervert? Or do I just spend WAY too much time with them?

Anyway, I think the answer is clear. It might be a little unconventional, but I think the universe (and muse) is telling me to edit what I already have first. Who knows, it may make writing the second half of the book even easier, because I’ll have a better perspective on what I want the book to be as a whole.

It’s always important to follow your instincts, and just see what you get from it. 

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