fs03, fs04, and fs05 are sittin’ pretty

30 07 2010

O hai. I can haz final copies nau? You can haz. I finished a typo and LJ-feedback processing sweep on these four chapters and they’re up there now.

I’m really, really bad about going back into my work and editing it. Typo fixes are the simplest thing to do and even than is anathema to me, much less actually reading through and making corrections for weak word choices or continuity flubs. It’s all to do with my New Experience Fixation.

I prefer new experiences. I’d rather watch a new movie than re-watch something from my DVD library. A new book rather than an old one, even one of my favorite ones. New game experiences rather than replays. And yes, new writing rather than going back to old writing. To me, re-watching, re-reading, or re-playing is a waste of precious, precious time… I only have a limited amount of time to get anything done, and wasting it is abhorrent. If it’s not NEW, it’s looking backwards, it’s burning up resources I could’ve applied to something new.

(Exceptions: ‘quickie’ replays of VERY old content or replays which are new each time. Watching a Cheers rerun while eating dinner is an easy burn of 21 minutes on content I haven’t seen in over a decade. Playing a match of Team Fortress 2, even on 2Fort, is always a new experience due to the randomness of other players. Etc. Remixes also count; playing through the remake of Secret of Monkey Island 2 was a new experience because of the voice acting and artwork. Finally, re-watching something with someone who hasn’t seen it before feels like a great ‘excuse’ to repeat content because it’s new to the other person.)

So, going back into something old, something that’s been sitting there for ages, is terrifying and feels wrong. Which explains why Unreal Estate remains unfinalized despite being completely finished in my mind for so long. And why it took me months to get around to finishing off fs03 through fs05 to get them closer to publishing-ready format.

It’s not a normal state of mind. I’m sure plenty of folks can enjoy re-reading a favorite book without feeling guilty for wasting their lives in the process. And it’s something I NEED to learn to avoid when writing… if I can edit as I go, instead of putting it off until a later day (which gets later and later) I’d be better off. We’ll see if I can maintain velocity going into London’s Fog.

(Although I think the next thing on my plate is the Forsaken Shores bonus chapter, so I can get the book published. New rather than old… dangit, doing it again.)

  • 02:40:45: My Goal For Tomorrow: Collect reader comments from 7 months ago, finally proof Forsaken Shores 03 through 05. Book soon…?
  • 12:49:41: Ten minutes ago, nice and sunny. Now: DOOMSTORM. Here we go again. Prepping for power and internet loss…
  • 13:36:57: Doom levels falling and no outages. Maybe my luck is improving.
  • 13:41:17: New Worms game for pc soon! Although the old ones devolved into infinite ninja rope across the whole map + drop dynamite = easy win.
  • 15:41:11: 200+ hours in Team Fortress 2 later, hundreds of items crafted, finally I can make my first hat… and it’s the lame headphones for engy.
  • 18:20:03: Gotta do Forsaken Shores proofing. Don’t wanna. Laaazy. I’m too fixated on not revisiting past work… I gotta start proofing as I go.
  • 18:39:54: Some of these LJ posts ‘o corrections I processed already, some I didn’t. I have gotta get my act together in terms of being my own editor.
  • 19:01:34: Writer fail. What word am I really looking for here? Sentence is “Trouble she would envisit upon another person.” Except envisit = !word. UPDATE: I just rewrote the sentence a bit to work around the problem.
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6 responses

30 07 2010
pyromaniac_ks

Maybe what you need is an editor?

30 07 2010
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I dunno. I do a lot of english-mangling that’s entirely intentional; awkward and stylized language structures. An editor would be pulling their hair out at my stuff, particularly Unreal Estate, where I intentionally used a crazy narrator who loved run-on sentences.

30 07 2010
jengagne

Maybe what you need is Neal Stephenson’s editor?

30 07 2010
cmdr_zoom

He has one?
(For that sentence, by the way, I’d probably go with “inflict.”)

30 07 2010
kamalloy

I feel the same way sometimes, since I keep acquiring books and games and DVDs on top of the rather large piles of unread/unplayed/unwatched ones I already have. I used to play through video games multiple times. Now I read FAQs just so I can get as much stuff done as I can in a single run since I’m probably not going to be coming back to it. ^^;
But I still enjoy walking over to my bookshelves, picking up a random volume, and reading one of my favorite passages.

30 07 2010
jengagne

Well, somebody with the title “editor” at the publishing house saw Big U’s outline and sample chapter, liked it, asked him to finish the book, and then published it…
But my point is, 2f’s writing hardly needs a Real Editor. Just somebody who can attempt to highlight what’s oops-wrong. Then 2f can decide if it was deliberately-wrong.

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