Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A New Way

I just started a new draft of my novel two weeks ago (which was the inspiration for starting this blog, by the way) and I'm working in a fashion that I've never tried before. Every writer works differently, but for those of you who already have a first draft under your belt, you might want to try this:

Take the first draft of your manuscript (or second, or third, or whatever you have) and read only the chapter that you are about to re-write. Once you've read that part, re-write the chapter as you want it, then use the guidelines I posted earlier (How to Survive a Chapter) and edit that chapter until you're satisfied with it. Then read the next chapter in your draft, re-write it, edit, and read the next, re-write, edit, etc. Work your way through the entire manuscript.

Make sure to print out everything you do - your first draft of each chapter, the list of adverbs/adjectives, nouns/verbs, and then each successive edit, and date ALL OF THEM. This will help you keep track of when you worked on what.

So far I have two chapters, about to start my third. I'm very used to writing a draft while keeping a blind eye to imperfections and then editing later, but I'm liking the focus that this new method has brought to my writing. It keeps a very active feel around each chapter, instead of getting overwhelmed with an entire draft.

On average, I'm writing a 5-7 page chapter and cutting it down to 3 pages.

1 comment:

Merc said...

Glad it works for you!

I might try it, but I think my attention span is far too short to go that far. ;) I like to edit a chapter for as long as I can stand it (which is, uh, maybe an hour) then do something else. %-)

Takes me longer, yeah, but what's new...