I encourage you to read this post. It revisits Cycling in the same way the previous post revisted Writing Off Into the Dark and continues it.
Some have confused “cycling” with “rewriting.”
One very good student of several of my own writing seminars recently wrote that she was about to perfom “cycling or rewriting or revising or redrafting or whatever other name you want to call it.” (Again, I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist.)
As I’ve written here before, the difference is that cycling is done with the subconscious, creative mind.
Rewriting and revising (and editing) are done with the consicous, critical mind. And redrafting — well, that means tossing out the whole thing but retaining the original idea and writing it from scratch again.
I mentioned in last week’s post (http://HarveyStanbrough.com/pro-writers/writing-off-into-the-dark-revisited/) that when I write off into the dark, I’m down in the trenches with the characters.
I’m running through the story with them, struggling to keep up, and writing down what they say and do and the settings they allow me to see.
After I’ve written a segment, usually after a break, when I return to the WIP I go back and read over what I’ve written on the characters’ behalf.
I’m reading it just as any other reader will read it: For the story. In other words, I’m not reading critically. I’m not critiquing it. I’m enjoying the story. I’m reading strictly for entertainment.
But as I read, my fingers are on the keyboard.
Sometimes, a character says something a little differently than I thought I heard him say it the first time.
Sometimes a character notices something in the setting that I didn’t see him notice before.
Sometime some action occurs that I missed while my attention was on some other part of the action.
And when any of that happens — again, as revealed to my subconscious mind by the characters in the story — I allow it to flow through my fingers and into the keyboard.
Ever watch a really good guitarist (think Clapton or Bonamassa or Walsh) fly through a great lead riff? Do you really believe he’s consciously fingering each note and plucking each string?
He’s down in the song with the notes, recording on his guitar what the song gives him as he goes.
I can’t do that on my guitar. But man, I can do it on my keyboard.
And so can you.
‘Til next time, happy writing.