Monday, July 19, 2010

When Did I Write That?

As I’m in edit mode on my current novel, I read each sentence, each word carefully. Sometimes I have no memory of writing a certain sentences. I remember creating scenes or chapters, but the little bits that constitute a scene or a chapter…I usually can’t say, I remember the day I wrote that sentence.

I found myself explaining this to a friend and I mistakenly told her that’s how it is for writers, that no one remembers the tiny nuances of a chapter or a completed novel, but who am I to speculate?

Maybe there are some of you out there who can say, “I wrote that sentence on the fourth of July.” I think the reason why it’s different for me, and I expect many of you, is because while I may have a detailed scene in my head, when I sit down to write, but then something takes over. I may not stick completely to what’s in my head. And then it’s all organic after that. Sometimes I really like what I’ve written and think, “Wow, I must’ve been on a roll that day.”

Sometimes I’m like, “What was I thinking when I wrote that?” Mostly, it’s a joyous thing and I’m happy to be at the point where I’m revising. I stumble across things that make me smile, laugh out loud or tugs at my heart and I wonder if the reader will feel the same in those places.

Am I the only one who forgets certain sentences, and then is surprised by how good they are? Or are you the type who can’t remember writing every word of your novel?


Vicki Rocho said...

When I am in the 'zone', it is almost like a trance and I can have entire PAGES that I don't remember writing. Very weird, but I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who doesn't recall everything that slips out the tips of my fingers onto the keyboard.

Tere Kirkland said...

I only experience this when I read something I wrote over a year or two earlier, and it's more like, "I actually wrote this crap?" ;)

On my current WiP, I tend to remember the edits in clumps, which ones I did at the same time, which can be very helpful if I'm accidentally working on an older version.

Fun post!

Jamie D. said...

I don't remember a good deal of what I write. LOL Once I get going, it just flows...I'm more "transcribing" than actually writing. It's weird, but in a very cool way, I think. :-)

Jai Joshi said...

I remember a lot of things about what I write but I couldn't tell you about what date I wrote this or what time.

Sometimes I can - like if it's a significant date. Once I wrote a chapter on New Year's Eve in my grandfather's house and I'll always remember that because of the celebration and the fireworks going on.


Karen Denise said...

Yes, Vicki I know all about the zone. I kinda love the zone! It's pretty awesome.

Tere, I sometimes forget the edits as well, especially when it's just an enhancement. But I do know, without a doubt that it wasn't part of the original text. I love that too.

You're right Jamie, it is WAY cool. Everything about writing is way cool, but then again, I am a writing geek and proud of it!

Jai, that sounds cool. Fireworks in the background, New Year's Eve and at grampa's house. That's a story right there. Nice.

Mohamed Mughal said...

I think it was Fitzgerald who said that time is the greatest distance between two points. When there's time between a piece of my writing and my re-reading of that piece, I quite often am surprised...and not always pleasantly :)