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I am a white middle-age  woman who had a dream about a 6 year old African-American girl that was so real it became the basis for my novel.  I am now approaching page 75 of the novel, but I find I want to edit what I have written instead of "getting on with it."  I don't know if this is writer's block, but I do know that it is hindering my progress.  I, in turn, feel that I am letting my main character down.  Do you have any suggestions?

Answer
Hello Billie:

Resist. Resist, resist, resist!

You have nothing to edit until you have a first draft finished. By the time you get to the end of your first draft you will (or should) know what needs editing. Often the only way you can isolate plot/storyline problems is to work it through to the end. Doing this in a first draft is possible, but laborious. For that reason I tell my clients to do a synopsis first, in some detail - perhaps 10-15 pages.

What you describe can indeed lead to writer's block, so resist. If you take your MC through 75 and then suddenly abandon her to go back and fiddle with what has already been done, you will indeed have let her down.

So resist, and resist again. Keep your eyes focused on the ending, and keep working toward it.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated.  I am proud of my high score over 1350+ questions.

And thanks for writing!

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Susan Rand

Expertise

I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.

Experience

I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

Education/Credentials
BA degree in Written Communication

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