If there’s one lesson from Halloween, at least as portrayed in the movies, it’s that whatever bad is happening, it’s happening behind you. There’s even the Biblical take on this concept with Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt. Or in the Panto: ‘He/She/It is behind you’ is the classic refrain.
And if we turn round? If we check? If we turn on that light? If we look behind us? Well we stop everything. The story ends abruptly and the fun is over before it’s time. You kill the mood.
If any of you are about to undertake the NaNoWriMo challenge, or indeed if you are about to kick off writing your first novel (or you second or your third…) take this advice to heart.
DO NOT LOOK BACK
There will be plenty of time for revision later. However fantastic your first draft (and it won’t be: it will be rubbish) you will need to edit it, murder those babies and change pretty much everything. So why slow the process of getting the basic form of what will eventually be your beautifully sculptured words hacked into a workable shape by starting to polish the left earlobe too soon?
Revision, reading yesterday’s output, a swift check on a character’s detail – these are all temptations but they are turning you slowly into writerly salt.
LOOK FORWARD, NOT BACK AND STAY SWEET!
Good writing, people!