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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I've learnt to stop | Amanda Patterson, Writers Write

Near the start of Patterson's blog, she writes that she locks up the first draft of her books and gives the key to her mother. And then she waits three weeks before she begins the "real work" of rewriting and revising her manuscript.

I like that idea. If there's time to let your first draft sit unedited for awhile, it's useful to let it be, to take a break from it, to give you some time to read and then revise it with refreshed eyes.

Patterson writes books, novels, I think. But her blog applies well to other forms of writing.

When beginning the rewriting/revising process, she first reads her manuscript without marking her hard copy with a green pen. And then:
Once I’ve finished, I ask these questions:
  1. Does the story make sense?
  2. What’s missing?
  3. What should I remove? 
Attacking her draft, Patterson looks for the obvious and not-so-obvious things to change, correct and improve. She provides useful reminders in her blog of things to check and fix.

And then, with satisfaction she's done her best, she stops ... after making backup copies.

For more suggestions on this topic, check out Garbl's Writing Process Links. It's an annotated directory of websites that can help you follow the steps in the writing process, such as prewriting, research, drafting, editing, revising, proofreading and publishing. A separate directory there features websites that can help you prevent or defeat Writer's Block.

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