On Hypergraphia

January 11th, 2005 · 4 Comments
by Booksquare

Back in college, working at breakneck pace all night on my first novel, I felt a little immortal, but I certainly don’t now. Maybe I wrote so fast this time around because I feel a lot more mortal. I have the sense now that ideas, when they come, shouldn’t be endlessly lobbed around or toyed with or lightly discussed with friends over dinner. They should be gotten down. There’s a headlong thrill to writing fast, a unique chance to snatch ideas from the air and simply run with them.

Rewriting is another story altogether.

  • The Writing Life: Sometimes it pays to sprint through those chapters, skip all the anguish and race to The End.

File Under: Quote of the Week

4 responses so far ↓

  • Lorra // Jan 11, 2005 at 10:44 am

    Rewriting you say? Slowly I turn, and boy do I mean SLOWLY!!

    First time around, flew like the wind; even the “rewrites” went at warp speed; film company grabbed it, begged for an option.

    And then – the agents put in their two cents: never sell in this form – show don’t tell – don’t kwitcher day job – nobody will ever believe this ridiculous story! Well, you know the drill.

    Now, with the help of a writing coach, I am doing a for-real rewrite: new structure, new chapters, a different point of view, blah, blah blah – and may I say, I only hope I don’t die of old age before I finish the process.

    Cool thing is, the agents will probably still hate it. Such a cheery thought!

  • booksquare // Jan 11, 2005 at 7:58 pm

    Write for yourself — you’re the only one who matters. Agents? Love them, but they are only one opinion.

    Now rewriting? It’s my favorite form of writing. I like the initial draft okay, but it’s more of a brain dump (and that’s scary!). It is only during the rewrites that I really get a chance to do whatever it is I do. I actually look forward to rewriting in a way I don’t look foward to drafting. Go figure.

  • Lorra // Jan 11, 2005 at 8:12 pm

    Thanks booksquare. I’ll try to take your encouragement to heart. Either way, like everyone else out there, I’ll be back at it first thing tomorrow morning.

  • booksquare // Jan 11, 2005 at 11:16 pm

    It is my belief that you write what you write how you write it. But I also believe that spending too much time online can be detrimental to your writing health. If the subliminal message that revisions are scary or burdensome or hard gets into a psyche, then people start thinking that’s true.

    This is why, at Booksquare, you will never hear about synopses being anything but cool, effective, and useful tools (unless someone tries to derail us!). The synopsis is your friend, and if you treat it like a root canal, that shows in your writing.