9.29.2011

My Memory and My Writing

Having a good memory is a curse.

My Mom was blessed with a not-as-good-memory. She often tells me how she wishes she could remember stuff the I can: phone numbers, song lyrics, birthdays, people's names...

But as a writer, I'd prefer to not remember a thing.

They it takes about two days for your mind to fully detach from a piece of writing - to forget what was written - so that the writer might look upon it with fresh eyes. But, with a good memory, this time is doubled if not tripled.

I memorize what I write as I write it; the rhythm of the words, everything.

I would much rather forget.

Once I had finished my book (Enslaved) the program I had used to help me write it suggested that I wait about a week to detach my mind from the story, thus editing it more objectively. They pushed for three weeks (I didn't have the time - the deadline was in two); but they said one week should be fine.

But, for me, it wasn't.

I was shocked at myself as I went back to read over my novel. 350 pages, and I had it all practically memorized.

Not good.

How this hurt me during the editing process, I don't know. I haven't read my novel since then - have hardly looked at it. Hopefully, with time, I'll forget most of what I wrote, and be able to bare the sight of my words.

Does this happen to anyone else? Or am I the only writer who prays for a bad memory, when it comes to my writing?

Though, I suppose, if I had a bad memory, I might forget to write at all.

7 comments:

  1. Ditto. =) It's insane--waiting to completely forget my book so I can pick it up again.

    By the way, I didn't know you renamed your book! How long ago was this? :D And why did you?

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  2. Yes! It takes so long to forget! And it's very annoying. But I still love my characters, which I suppose counts for something - I'm not annoyed with them, just with my writing.

    And yes, I changed my novel title (though I didn't change it on the OYAN forum because I didn't want to confuse people). Although I loved the previous title (Free as an Eagle does have a nice ring to it) it didn't seem to fit the genre. 'Free as an Eagle' sounds more like a character-driven novel, not an adventure novel. But I do hope to eventually write a character-driven novel as a prequel to 'Enslaved', and perhaps it will have this title . . .

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  3. *Wails because of the name change*

    ...ahem.

    Anyway, good post. And so true. Although I've been 'blessed' with a not-so-good memory, it can still be hard to go back to a project that's quite engraved on your heart and have to read it as if you didn't know the story.

    Quite frustrating indeed.

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  4. Thanks, Miguel. Do you agree, though, that this title more aptly fits the story?

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  5. Yes.

    ...but very begrudgingly ;)

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  6. Wow. I've never thought about memory being a problem like this, but now that you mention it, it makes sense. Good luck editing anyway!

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  7. Thanks! Yes, it can be quite a problem, though I don't know if I would abandon my good memory because of the problems it causes. I'd have to think about that one...

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