When writing The Reckoned, I was brand new to putting my ideas into words. I fumbled over every single word that went down obsessively. Each word had to improve the sentence. Each sentence had to improve the paragraph. Each paragraph had to improve the page . . .you get the idea. There is a lot to be said about the quest for perfection, not the least of which is Mark Dansky’s quote, “Look to the next world for perfection, look to this one for its opposite.” Basically, don’t expect perfection on this.
I spent so much time trying to get chapter one perfect, that chapter two was pushed off for weeks, for months. Not to mention chapter three, four, or five. I had been working on The Reckoned for a very long time, think years, and I wasn’t very close to being finished. As I was finishing chapter five, I reread, and changed numerous things about chapters one through four that needed to be worked through . . .again. I had two realizations at that point. One, I am never . . .ever going to be completely happy with it. I will always find things that I can change. This line of dialogue doesn’t work, that wouldn’t be how I would react if I was Layten. It could drive me mad, and it did for quite some time. And Two, If I could do this after chapter five, why not at the end of the book? Just do it once.
With that in mind, I wrote forty more, albeit dreadful, chapters. Once I had them finished, I went back and edited and rewrote, then again, and again. I had figured out the hard way that you never polish a table until it is put together. I was trying to complete every process with every chapter individually. Obviously, it didn’t work. It is a hard lesson to learn, and I could have written the sequel twice over by now. Mistakes will happen, you will either catch them in rewrites, or someone else will catch them for you when they read it (trust me). While you are pulling your hair out obsessing over every little detail, just remember . . .
Just get it down, don’t get it right.