The Slash and Burn Writing Technique
Posted by poetsforpeanuts at 5:02 PM on Apr 3, 2012
Then some of us have also developed a very bad writing habit: editing before the first draft is finished! If you go back and start editing before even finishing the story, you'll get caught in an endless vortex of tweaking, obsessing, writing and rewriting... and it'll take months to finish what otherwise might have only taken weeks.
I would like to introduce to you a simple remedy: the Slash and Burn writing technique!
I recommend that you "slash and burn" your way through the first draft just to get it finished. Skimp on character and scene. Throw in some random plot devices to plow through writer's block. Pull a resolution out of your sleeve and go, go, go! Give yourself permission to be a bad writer and just finish the damned book. Then, when you're finished slashing and burning through that first draft, you go back and edit.
And when you edit, you make a diamond out of the coal.
It's a lot easier to see what you're doing with a book after you've finished it. You can see the themes a lot more clearly, the motifs, the nuances of characterization. And you don't have the pressure of finishing the manuscript, so you can get more involved with each individual scene, each unique moment of your story.
So what is the true key to writing a great book? Well, finishing, for starters. But mostly editing. Plow through your first draft and save your talent for the second draft. Streamline your writing process. Getter done!