Tuesday, April 07, 2009

More about zombies (Can you ever get too much?)

In honor of my project for script frenzy, which is about a teenager trained to be a zombie hunter, I present a post from Meg Cabot's blog called Teenage Zombies. I was particularly struck by this advice:

The other problem with the movie is that the music is kind of dopey and the special effects aren’t that scary and everyone is always like, “Wait, we have to go back.”

Why does everyone always say that? There’s no reason to go back. Really. Ever. Just drive forward.

That fantastic advice doesn't just work for films, or zombie hunting, or fleeing from zombies; it's also perfect writing advice. Don't ever hit the back space. Don't go back and delete anything you've written. Don't think you're just going to edit one thing and then go on. Instead write a note to yourself about what you think is wrong and go on from there. I've actually written as many as 11 thousand words and decided they weren't working for me, written a note like @@this books should really start here@@ and forged on with whatever direction seems better.

I am only talking about first drafts here. If you're doing a rewrite you're probably going to need to stop and go back from time to time. But I find that even when I'm doing my rewrite I need to forge ahead to a degree. I can bogged down just doing the first reading of my first draft and start trying to fix things. I really need to read the whole thing through while making notes then tackle it and whip it into shape.

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