Day 175 – When memory doesn’t serve your writing

Day one hundred seventy-five of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words for Days 173, 174 and 175: 1,800

I started the book I am writing over six months ago. Now that I am approaching the end of my first draft, I am having some difficulty circling back to previous moments in the story. I can remember generally what happened, but I have forgotten many details.

My most recent chapter has a lot of blanks and notations to consider when I’m in the revising/re-writing mode. Until then, I am following my strict policy to not go back and read previous chapters. As you may know from earlier posts on the subject, I’m an obsessive reviser. I can spend ridiculous amounts of time re-working one sentence or one paragraph, let alone a whole chapter. I used to go back to read and re-write before moving on to the next chapter. That was crippling. When I started this Project, I finally figured out that I can’t let myself do that or I’ll never finish a draft.

For now, when my memory doesn’t serve I will leave blanks in the text and notations to come back to when the time is right.

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4 thoughts on “Day 175 – When memory doesn’t serve your writing

    • Kind of both. I had an outline but things have developed organically to the point where my outline is moot at this point. At least it got me started. I just know how I can get, so cutting myself off from reading earlier chapters is necessary. So far, it has worked!

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  1. I agree, this must take a lot of self-control! I love going back over what I’ve written…sometimes I think it helps me get back into the mood of the book. But it is the enemy of getting my first draft done quickly! This is a good challenge, though!

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    • It works! I was able to keep on track all the way to the end. The downfall, I’m discovering, is that the first draft needs a lot of work since I never went back to refine it before. I haven’t yet decided which scenario is better!

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