Shannon (kungfuwaynewho) wrote,


I think that I often do my best work during the revision/rewriting phase.  I'm also a bit of a process junkie - I love hearing how other people write.  Not the decisions about story and character, but the actual, physical mechanics of writing.  Any thoughts on your revision process?  What are some of your tricks?

I feel like printing things out and working on a hard copy can make things pop out that just won't if I'm looking at it on the computer.  Not just typos, but all sorts of things.  Especially pacing issues.  Sitting down and reading something straight-through really only works for me if I have a hard copy; I almost always end up getting distracted in some way or another if I'm reading something on the computer.

I also really like printing things out with multiple pages on one sheet of paper.  It makes it easier to visually assess the material (though this may be more applicable to screenplays than prose).  In some ways, it's like working with note cards, but I like being able to see the entire scene and not just a summary.  This latest screenplay, I caught that I had two scenes with long monologues back-to-back, and was able to move one - I'm not sure I would have picked up on that just reading page by page, but being able to actually see the blocks of dialogue is what worked for me.

Finally, I think handwriting works because then when it comes time to type that material up, you get another editorial pass.  No matter how many times I go back and forth, I still catch things I somehow missed before.  Besides, I think any time you view something in a different format, you see different things.  (Once, I rewrote a movie in prose format, no dialogue for the most part - not really a treatment, more like a short story.  In that case, I realized that I was missing a midpoint of any real import - why I couldn't see this otherwise, I don't know, but in writing it out that way it just jumped out at me.)

Tags: writing

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