There is a school of thought that believes it to be counter-productive to edit your work as you go along. To be able to get that first draft down on the page (or document file) warts-and-all so that the story flows in an undiverted stream would, undoubtedly, be great.
It’s just that I can’t do it. I didn’t do it with Changeling or Changeling 2, and I don’t think that I ever will be able to do it. My way is much slower, but it appears it is the way that my particular muse chooses to operate.
I know that every chapter I write is not quite how I want it to be because of that wild stampede that the writer is forced into to get the words down. For me, to move on to the next chapter, and the next, knowing that what I put down last night was not right is nothing short of mental torture, and it nags at me until I am forced to go back and re-write it. Sometimes, if I am very lucky, the reworking is not too arduous and it is nothing more than sentence structure or dialogue that needs tidying up. But sometimes it’s so wrong that you have to scrub-up, grab the scalpel and go down into the wet stuff to make it work again.
But I think that going back on your work before you plough ahead with the story again does something else: it reassures you that you are not the chump that you have convinced yourself to be while you haven’t had your fingers on the keyboard. Last night I went over a chapter that I had written a couple of days ago, and as I was reading it, I thought, “You know something, this is really bloody good.” This thought inspired me to get cracking on with the book after I had come to one of those shuddering and halting stops that I am prone to. And now I am ready and raring to go again.
So I’m sticking with what works for me. I’ll continue to write in my two-steps-forward-one-step-back way and leave the cavalry charge to others.