A couple of year ago, I was writing ten thousand words a month (a couple, in the same sense that “I’ve only had a couple of drinks” or “I’ve only been across the Atlantic a couple of times).
Back then I was on a roll. I was also on someone else’s payroll. I would write at work, in my down time, and I had a lot of down time as my job basically consisted of putting out metaphorical fires.
At some point that stopped. Maybe it was the feedback— I sent it to a family member’s family member, and they didn’t really give me anything I felt was constructive to what I was doing. Maybe it was the job— I got a promotion, and work actually became something I had less time to sit around and write during. But mostly, I think it was that, most of the way done with book 2, I realised book 1 needed so much work, so much editing, I lost interest in writing novels in general.
Because I don’t like editing. There’s something anathema to me about spending all that time writing, then doing it all again. And again. And deleting, and changing.
I never learned to do it. Taking English classes in England, I learned how to read the shit out of a book. Eng Lit was 2 years reading approximately six books. I think it was six. Of Mice and Men, a Game of Soldiers, one of the Austen Novels (they’re pretty interchangeable to me), a play set in WWI, and I forget the last two. In comparison, AP English in the US we read about 20 books.
In England, we learned to write a two or three page essay as quickly as possible. It was geared up to getting the first draft as good as we could, cos that’s what we’d be doing for GCSE’s. Answer a question about a book you have a pretty good grasp on, and move on to the next one.
And unfortunately, that’s where my writing interests lie. Write it as well as you can the first time around, then move on. That’s why I’m sitting (funnily enough, at work) here writing this blog entry instead of editing.
I’m biased, but I think it’s a good script. It’s loosely based on an idea I had when I was back in University, and I never wrote the full script until last year. After writing it, I (took a year off from it, then) printed it out, red lined it, and re-typed it. And that’s where I would love to be able to stop. Because this blog is new, and I don’t have to edit it, and that script is something I already wrote.
Unfortunately, I don’t get to do that. I don’t get to ‘once and done’ with scripts any more than I do with novels, unless they remain intellectual exercises or a cheap form of therapy. I get to beat my head against the screen, curse the names of the characters, the movie industry, and the twat who decided to write the script. And then I get to blog a bit for a break, because it’s new and I don’t have to edit it, and then I get to go back to tweaking, refining, deleting, and hating the characters I care about.
I’m on page 81 of 103 of what was 112 pages, in case you’re counting.