Back to writing

Rants off my chest, I got back to writing. Or rather, frustratingly, deleting. Not tweaking the words, I flat boxed myself into a corner I didn’t want. I’ll talk about that in a second, but I want to digress first to share two things I’ve been told by others which turn out to be pretty darn useful.

First, I’ve taken to writing with the program FocusWriter. The big deal about this program is that its intent is to eliminate distractions. It goes full screen. If you swing your mouse up to the top you get a menu. If you swing it to the bottom you can get a current stats: word count, percent of goal, and file on which you’re working. There are some tools for formatting but they’re mostly hidden.

I’m easily distracted, so this has actually been a help. Which is what I was told by some other people, and so is what I’m sharing with you.

Oh, its default format is RTF but it also does txt and odt. Odt is the file format for openoffice/libreoffice, an opensource and free competitor to M$ Office. But I’ve digressed upon the digression. Back to the first digression, part two…

The second thing someone shared that has already saved my bacon is to use strikethrough instead of delete for major dumps. In other words if it’s more than a word or two, and especially if it’s a few paragraphs, don’t delete.

Strikethrough means that when I go back the next day, or next week, and don’t like what I’ve written I can see where it originated. That means I don’t bounce back and forth. That’s especially useful when I am still fumbling around by the seat of my pants. It can easily turn out that I should have just tweaked what I deleted instead of fully re-writing it. see?

Which takes me back to the fiction story. I looked at what I did and realized that in 2000 or so words I’d revealed almost all the Big Background. At least two and maybe four chapters worth of tension points blown. I had to delete it. Or rather I had to strikethrough, because I really like a couple of the phrases, and I really like the loop that got tossed in there by my hindbrain. I just need to spin it out without dragging the story.

So I’m back to ~1500 or so words “done” but that’s ok. Annoying, but ok.

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