Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Writing for Publication

James Raagi makes an interesting point here about his writing process. It seems that he is a perfectionist even before he writes a single word—someone who doesn’t like the concept of drafts and feels that if his thoughts are not fully formed, then he probably isn’t ready to sit down and type them. He believes (rightly or wrongly depending on how you may choose to look at it) that this is a weakness in his writing.  [I hope that I am not mischaracterizing what he said here--if so, I apologize.]

The comments from his post (twelve as I type this) concentrate on the specific writing piece that he included to illustrate his point; they offer recommendations and their thoughts on improving it.  But none of the comments really dealt with the point that he was making--at least as I see it.  The real topic is not the piece that he posted but his process.  As someone who is trying my hand at rpg publishing, I find this intensely interesting.

That got me to thinking about my own writing process.

I'm not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing, but I'm not very good at drafts (in the traditional sense) either.  While I don't (think I) share James' self-professed views, I find in my own writing that from first to final draft, my material doesn't change all that much.  Some other personal observations:

- I write incredibly slowly.
- What editing that does occur to my writing usually involves removing extra words, clauses, and phrases.
- I believe that I am a good editor of other people's work but am not a very good editor of my own.

Now all of this begs the question: How do the rest of you write?  [Yes, I'm typing directly at the nine followers that this blog currently has (THANK YOU GUYS!!!) and the other five people who pop in occasionally.]  Lots of drafts and editing?  Few drafts and LOTS of editing?  For those of you who also publish work in the rpg realm (whether for sale or for free), is your writing style different for your own personal use than what it is for your 'professional' pursuits?

I'm very interested in this, so please leave a comment and fill me in.  Thank you.

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