“First things first, to the death.”
“No. To the pain.”
“I don’t think I’m quite familiar with that phrase.”
-The Princess Bride
I’m in the midst of “End of Book Pain” right now. Because of sekrit things, I absolutely must finish the first draft of the WIP by as close to the end of the month as possible. I wish I had a method of talking to my younger self so I could tell her to always “write to the end” (also that the phrase “When in Rome” should not be applied to situations involving punk musicians and malt liquor).
I wrote a lot, but I did not finish very many things. I wrote and rewrote the beginnings of a great many things. I can write beginnings LIKE A BOSS. However, I never got around to practicing middles and ends to the same degree. I’ve been playing catchup with those for awhile now and sometimes I have a bit of a teenage-style pout about them being “TOO HARD”. They aren’t, I just haven’t had the same kind of practice at them.
See, at about the 1/2 or 2/3rd point in a long work it becomes horribly obvious where I made terrible mistakes. These errors start to haunt my thoughts and make it very difficult to move forward. They groan, bleeding on the word battlefield behind me. I want to stop and tend to their injuries, but I must grit my teeth, reload, and push forward. There will be time to tend to my wounded once the battle is over. Finishing can be hell, but I’ll do a better job of triaging my mistakes once the bullets stop flying. If I stop, I might save one but lose the battle and forfeit the field.
Thou shalt not edit in the writing trenches. I can’t fix words I don’t write. Write to the end, regroup, triage based on the whole, then edit.