I’ve been editing myself as I write today. That’s unusual for me – I’m a firm believer in first drafts. They will be awful, they won’t be complete, but there are pearls in a first draft that are simply there for the polishing. I don’t believe I can write clean copy, and so I don’t often try.
Today, however, I have been paying more attention to my word usage and grammatical tics. I have only a vague idea about what a participle or a preposition is, but I do know that I start far too many sentences with the last. I use commas where parentheses should be used, and really, should parentheses ever be used? I know of at least five English teachers currently employed in the California public school system who would say no, and one who would say “Anything goes!” but that one had a habit of reading us Finnegan’s Wake in class and once called e.e. cummings a pussy.
I’ve given myself a daily word-count goal to aspire to, as I have a first draft short story due on Dec. 1st, as well as issue #1 of my zine. I do well with using word counts as a measure of effort, but getting started is more difficult than getting my cat to leave me alone when his food dish is showing blue (the dish itself is blue, and the cat does not like to see blue staring up at him from the bottom of the dish, regardless of how much food is around the edges).
See? Did you see what I just did? What author would write a metaphor that needs a parenthetical comment a yard long to explain it? Well, besides Robert Ludlum.
Ah well. It’s time to start counting words.