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Tuesday, October 31

Getting It Perfect

I know of various wise people who have stated that something is only complete when there's nothing left to take out. In other words, the natural process of refining something should include streamlining and removing redundancy. I agree with that. I don't necessarily follow that rule in everything I do, this blog being the prime example. Here I'm perfectly prepared to moan on about anything and everything without cause to re read and re edit any of it. However in all other things I write, I'm more meticulous, whether it be computer programs, songs, comedy stuff, or articles for publication. In some ways, the blog is my playground to improve my first draft skills and make writing other stuff a bit easier.

I think the fact that some entries are written on a mobile phone, like this one, helps. The medium of writing has an effect on the results. I prefer to write songs on paper for this very reason. Don't know why. However, the more different forms of writing I use, I reason, the better I will get at it in general.

I'd like to get my teeth into some sort of long term writing thing. Recent things I've listened to, including some of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and some podcasts, including something about a victorian gentleman raised by nuns who thought they were gorillas, have inspired me. Quite what I'll do, now inspired, is anyone's guess.

Last night I finished a 400 word essay on my computer. It was about my computer and I used my computer to write it. So, read the first sentence of this paragraph twice and you'll get all the meaning of the rest of it so far. I remember when I used to have to write 400 word essays for English homework. I was lazy and it seemed like far too much hard work to have to write that much. As a result of this laziness, or perhaps a preoccupation with other things, I under performed. Now, I can write 400 words just to say hello. This brings a new problem. If I only have 400 words, then I have to do a lot of editing. The time is split equally between writing the original draft, and then reducing it until it has no waste and is small enough to fit. Sometimes I have to throw away little details, sometimes I throw away a big detail to make room to keep some little ones. Character is often more valuable than being terse and to the point.


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