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NOT QUITE FROM SCRATCH




I’ve stumbled onto a new revision technique. New to me, at least. It started with an 8,000-word early chapter book that I wanted to try switching from third person to first person. Yes, I could have just edited the existing manuscript on my pc, but I decided to print it out, then using the hard copy as a guide, type it up from scratch incorporating my change in point of view. It worked so well that I decided to use the same technique with a 1,500 word short story that needed smoothing. I printed out the story and edited using a pen – some basic line edits as well as circling sections that needed re-writing or better transitions. Rather than plugging the changes into my existing manuscript, I started up a new document and typed the story, incorporating the changes I’d indicated on my hard copy as I went along.

With each manuscript, it started off as a kind of straight copy typing job but then I found myself adding to the story, changing up the dialogue and forgetting to refer to my hard copy. Then I’d go back to the marked-up copy and type some more but before long I was drifting into new writing again.

This technique is very time consuming, especially with larger works, and yes, I end up re-typing some sections pretty much word for word but when the new writing takes over, I end up with a much stronger piece. I’m going to try this guided rewriting technique out on my middle grade manuscript that’s giving me trouble – well, for the first three chapters at least.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
boreal_owl
May. 20th, 2012 02:22 pm (UTC)
Me too. Doesn't everyone do this?!
angeladegroot
May. 22nd, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
If they don't they should really give it a try.
jbknowles
May. 20th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Good for you!

I have done this more times than I care to admit with full-length novels. With one, I didn't even allow myself to look at the original. I just started over. It was hard, but necessary. :-) Good luck!
angeladegroot
May. 22nd, 2012 12:43 pm (UTC)
Oh good, there's hope for me. You are strong, I'm not sure I'd be able to do it without taking a peek at the original. I probably just need to put on my big girl pants and give it a go.
jongibbs
May. 21st, 2012 03:28 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea to me :)
angeladegroot
May. 22nd, 2012 12:44 pm (UTC)
It's definitely working out for me. And I like doing it, which is something new where revisions are concerned.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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