Friday, October 23, 2009

Hardcopy Read-Through

Heard this advice a few times. After a thorough on-line proof, went through printed version with a blue pen (red makes me feel like I’m in high school) and did line edits. Interestingly, when reading on paper I found a lot of extra words that could be cut, several typos, and some character voice issues that never stood out reading electronically.

I guess the point is, the advice to read a paper version is good. It resets some part of the brain and helps you to see the words differently.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Writing Advice: Blending

Here is a tip for all you part-time writers:

As a part time writer, I have to write in fits and starts: An hour here, a half hour there. To be productive, I seldom review old material or outlines during these shorter sessions. Instead I just pop open a file, pick a spot and start writing (sometimes reviewing a scene or two to remind me where I am).

This works well if I have thought about a particular scene, image, character or idea that goes in that area. Often, I will jot down a page or half-page of notes throughout the day, and use these as an outline for that session.

However, these fits and starts lead to a lot of disparate groups of words, sometimes repeating things, sometimes not connecting well to each other.

So, when I have longer sessions, 3+ hours, I will often use them to blend things I have already written. Starting at the beginning of a chapter or section and weaving all the random bits together. This works out kinks and holes in the plot, removes redundant bits, gives language and dialogue coherent feel to the dialogue and wording and sets up a rhythm in that section. I don’t count this as a separate draft, it’s just part of the process I use for each draft.