Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Life with the weasel

I have been talking quite a bit (like nearly non-stop on here) about how I am doing my best to fight the urge to edit as I write. I have gotten much better about letting the story come first and worrying about buffing and polishing -- or major surgery -- later.

At times it's hard to fight, though, and I let myself go ahead and make corrections and needed fixes.

Jim Van Pelt calls those two writing modes the weasel and the analytic. The weasel just writes. The analytic makes corrections.

Here are his words to describe the weasel mode.

It's marked by headlong rushes into the story, uninterruptable stretches of typing, and stream of consciousness thinking that goes something like this: what-happens-next-what-happens-next-close-your-eyes-and-type-what-do-you-see-feel-hear-smell-taste-what-happens-next-what-is-the-point-of-view-thinking-don't-worry-if-that-last-bit-was-good-yet-what-is-the-surrounding-what-happens-next-keep-your-eyes-closed-and-type-cool-language-on-the-way-get-out-of-the-way-and-tell-the-story-what-would-the-character-do-be-the-ball-danny-be-the-ball-what-happens-next-what-do-you-see-feel-hear-smell-taste-what-happens-next . . . and so on for as long as I can keep the weasel running.

And the analytic.

... pauses for long times while writing, is easily distractable, and will delete two of every three words that make it to the page. The analytic mode is often plagued with doubt, loathing, and other self image issues. It also can feel righteous and smug.

Read the rest of the post here. Good stuff. At least to the guy who seems to be obsessing over this stuff right now.

1 comment:

  1. It's always an obsession, I think. Good luck with your projects.