The way I edit has changed. I use to polish off every sentence as I did it, because I believed it would save me time later. And sure, it may save me time, if i want a completed book, but it wouldn’t help me get published.
Now I write just to get the story down. Sure, I fiddle here and there with words if I see they need editing right there and then, but overall, I’m not really worriered about it. Why? because the biggest edits you will make don’t come from grammar or spelling mistakes, or finding that “right” word, but will come from changing your plot, structure, and those other macro views of your story.
So get your foundation down first, which is the basic story line. Get your story down! Once you have it down, then you will need to restructure, rethink everything, because the first image you recieve while writing, (As Orsen Wells says in his book on character) will probaly be cliche because it will come from the already common sense approach to the current circumstance. Also, Michael Chekhov in his book on acting (awesome book on art overall, if you can get a chance to read it, do so) says that the first image is never the best image, and that the confident artist will pass on image after image untill its right for expression. He talks about artists who let an image of a sculpture rest in their mind for years untill they believe the image is right for expression. Now, of course this isn’t feasible for a modern day writer, but it gives you an example of why getting down your story first is so important.
Once the story is done, question every scene and ask yourself “whats more interesting? What’s more exciting? What will challenge my characters more? How can I make this character more interesting?” Keep with these questions. And then once you believe your plot and structure are as good as it can be, THEN, go back and polish the words, grammar, plot and structure. Then you will see a novel that really shines.
I’m just chilling out in Agra, in India right now, and I’ve found the villages that I describe in my book are starting to look more and more like India. I believed it’s good for my writing because instead of writing from my imagination, I’m writing from experience, and it’s getting some really vivid, unique images out in the words, and I’m digging the frame of mind it’s putting me in.
Anyways, thats it for me for now!