Calm down. The wife is not under the patio.
‘Kill your darlings’. William Faulkner no less. (Back to those great American writers again.)
Writing the first draft of the best ever debut novel written by me, the challenge was to get all of the words out of my head onto the page. All of the advice that I read was to write; to get on with it, just get on with it…
I stumbled across National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Check it out.
NaNo is the extreme end of ‘just write’. So, I wrote and wrote and wrote. No looking back, no editing, always moving forward. The writing took on its own rhythm.
When November ended, I printed out not one, but two manuscripts. As advised, I hid them in a drawer and collapsed in a contented heap. I may even have had a glass of wine or two. 😉
Two novels. Done.
I took the rest of the year off.
Late in February, I judged myself ready to edit. You know, tidy up a few bits of grammar and the like.
The drafts were awful. Prose that was wonderful as I wrote it was dreadful and overblown as I read it back. I needed to kill a lot of darlings.