no longer the weekend…

February 14, 2011

I have five to-do lists.   This has got to stop.  Consolidate!  Go!

So, something I thought about a lot on this last revision is how sloppy my writing was.  How sloppy my writing is still, even after 20 years of working at writing.  It may even be more sloppy now than it was, say, six or seven years ago when I trying to sell my first novel.

However, I think this is all subjective.  All in my own perception and not really  objectively true at all.  It’s impossible for me to tell (unless I went to dig up some old rough drafts, which I don’t really feel like doing).  I came up with two possibilities:

  1. Yes, my writing is actually sloppier because I’m writing the first drafts faster, because of deadlines and scheduling and so forth.  First drafts don’t matter if I can catch the problems on the revision, so I really shouldn’t worry.
  2. My writing isn’t any sloppier than it used to be, but as time has passed and I’ve gotten (I hope) better, I’m actually much more sensitive to sloppiness and mistakes than I used to be.  I’m actually catching more sloppiness, fixing more mistakes, and (I hope) getting better at this.

As with most things, it’s probably a combination of the two.


6 Responses to “no longer the weekend…”

  1. Andrew Says:

    On which list are you going to add “consolidate to do lists” as an action item?

    You know someone had to ask that. 🙂

  2. LupLun Says:

    Define “sloppy”. More to the point, define how “sloppy” is necessarily bad. Douglas Adams was extremely sloppy — the first Hitchhiker’s novel ends mid-scene with no wrap-up, and the fourth goes off on a tangent in the first chapter and never gets back to the main plot. He’s still a hilarious writer and a geek icon. Battlestar Galactica was very sloppy, have a huge mythical arc with a maddening continuity, all of which was made up as the writers went along. It was still the best damn sci-fi show of the past ten years. Punk rockers of the 70’s and 80’s made a selling point out of sloppiness: their lack of polish was a sign of their authenticity, brutal honesty, and refusal to compromise.

    What I’m trying to say is, just being sloppy isn’t a problem. So why, exactly, does sloppiness worry you? What is it that makes you feel you should be unsatisfied with your writing?

  3. Debbie W. Says:

    Sounds to me so similar to how I see myself … in many ways. If I can’t make it perfect (or at least MY definition of perfect), than I just get frustrated. However, YOU (unlike ME) stepped out & acted on your dream (writing, in this case) rather than be so scared that you couldn’t produce a perfect product the very first time, that you failed to even TRY. And after ages of music lessons, I still could not stand to even hear myself practice because it wasn’t “right” … G-d forbid SOMEONE ELSE should hear those wrong notes! AAARRRGGGHHH! My dad was such a good artist that he could look at a photograph, take pencil to paper & draw a sharpened version that people would think, at first glance, truly *was* another yet sharper photograph. I felt like if I couldn’t reproduce on canvas the exact image I saw, *I* would be a failure. Funny though how Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists, eh?

    (now turning over my “The Doctor Is OUT” sign, ala Peanuts)

  4. carriev Says:

    Sloppy: at the prose and grammatical level. Repetitions. Sentences out of order because I wrote them when I thought of them instead of where they belong. Things that make the prose clunky.

    Purely mechanical issues, not story/style issues.

  5. LupLun Says:

    Then you’re right to think positive — that stuff’s easily handled through the magic of revisions, paired with an editor who’s good enough to catch what you miss. All it takes is square shoulders and some Big Girl Pants. ^_^

  6. […] is adapted from a post I did on my own blog last […]

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