Fixing Things in Post


tbh one of the things that helped me the most when it comes to writing is the mantra of: “oh well, fix it in post”.

when we write in our minds we tend to go back and restart the scene if something was wrong. when we write in the physical world, this is a mistake. it takes a lot of energy and redirection to go back and fix a whole scene. don’t do that.

skip scenes you don’t feel like writing. write whatever in the important dialogue that you can’t figure out the cadence of. drop in new characters as if they’ve always existed. allow items to flicker in and out of existence.

i strongly encourage you to edit as little as possible until the entire piece is done. it will feel wild. you’ll be like “i have no idea if this is historically accurate”. you’ll be like: “haha i don’t even know how they get here. but they’re here now, i guess.”

while i think fanfiction is totally cool, it is usually presented in a serialized format. which means that a lot of writers who start in fanfic get used to A to B to C plot workings. you are expected to keep items and characters constant – because once a chapter exists, it is now defined. others have read it. it can’t really be altered. so if you say she has blue hair, she always has blue hair unless you change it. this is actually extremely difficult and takes a LOT of pre-planning and focus (and shout out to y’all for managing it).

“i’m gonna fix it in post” is way easier. i cannot even tell you how many times i’ll reach the end of a story and be like “whoops. i forgot to put a whole guy in there.” but once the story exists, i’m able to see places i dropped. instead of getting stuck, i get to be like “okay, i thought this was about luck, but it’s actually about grief.” i’m able to see places i can sprinkle in foreshadowing. i have a map of the entire thing; so i can start carving in landmarks.

in other forms of art, this approach makes a lot of sense – you might paint the broad strokes of a portrait, and then settle into the details; because the background will change the colors necessary for the whole work. an actor might learn their lines and then start really digging into tiny choices they make with their voice. whenever i learn a dance, i learn the whole choreography first – and then i start really getting down the specifics of the motion.

often i find that the scene i thought i had to get right – it doesn’t even need to exist. that i could just write something like “time seemed to skip – forming the plan, boarding the plane, getting onto the ship” because the rest of the story has shown itself to me, and i know where to fill in and what i can leave vague.

when we force ourselves to get a scene “perfect” before moving on – it kills the momentum. when we force ourselves to travel from scene to scene perfectly, to drop nothing – we’re no longer enjoying the road we’re travelling. we aren’t exploring at that point. exploring is the most fun part. the world doesn’t exist until we make it exist – and then we can get around to the landscaping.

fix it in post. fuck it up, and fuck it up badly. the point of writing was always supposed to be to have fun. to be lost in the discovery. to listen to your own stories. you’ll figure it out. even if it takes a few rounds of edits – you’ll get there eventually.

Yes! This practice helps to give you some clear things to edit as well, creating momentum to move past the first draft. If you feel like each piece has to be perfect, then it’s harder to make changes down the road. But if you know that you have the rough brush strokes that will be adjusted and polished, then it feels natural to flow into those steps.

Also, having some rough draft sections to work with is kind of like having the blocks for a quilt, where you can then start to move pieces around, add more pieces, add in the ornamental stitches. It gives you the clay, the paint, the mosaic, the tools to fix it in post!

You’d think that it’d be a simple matter to put a navigation header on the top of to match, at least until you paste in the code and discover that there is a terrible twisted forest of overlapping bootstrap css classes. You descend into the brambles, intersecting names and functionality tearing at your clothing, your sanity.

Hours later you emerge, wild-eyed, the header almost but not exactly the same. Almost. You’ll never be able to unsee the difference. You secretly hope that no one notices.

Helios Logo


Another great Friday making a logo for a fictional company.

Me: …so, I should spend some time resting this evening. Then I’ll have the energy to do some writing this weekend after the long week

Gremlin Me: Or…………

Me: uh-oh

Gremlin Me: We could spend our Friday night having a ruckus good time making a fake corporate logo in Illustrator for no real reason

Me: ……

Me: ……

Me: Sounds like a great idea