I’ve spent the best part of a week on a single chapter and, according to my word count, I’m going backwards. It’s not altogether self-editing so I can’t call it re-writing, instead I call this un-writing.
To be fair, a lot of the un-writing was exposition that probably had little part to play in the novel itself. Some of it is certainly going to appear in the novel in other ways, some of it will appear on my website under the world-building project for the world in which my novels will be set, and some of it will exist only as long as I don’t clear my recycle bin.
The main point I want to make is that this isn’t having a detrimental effect on the novel; I am still moving the story on. Rather than looking at it as one step forward, two steps back, I consider it to be two steps sideways. To put it a different way, if I were to visualize writing my novel as a journey, I see myself just taking a bit more time to look at the scenery instead of just trying to rush to the end.
The only question I have on this is that whilst I understand the processes that allow this to happen, I’m still in doubt as to whether this is considered part of the first draft, or an element of writing I should be putting off until later?