Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Listening to "Writing Advice You're Not Going to Like"

The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest (as I most often do) when I stumbled upon a screenshot of a Tumblr post titled "Writing Advice You're Not Going to Like." I nearly scrolled past it because it was long, but the title hooked me, so I scrolled back up and read it. And I am SO glad I did. (For those who want to read it for themselves, I found the actual post online here.)



In summary, this fabulous advice for editing your manuscript is to retype the entire thing. Yes, you read that right. Retype. The entire. Thing.
I was incredibly unsure about this at first because it just seemed so tedious. I just rewrote my entire book--now I have to retype it?! But as many of you know, I've been switching around my editing techniques in order to get myself out of a writing rut, so I figured, why not? I might as well try it. It can't hurt.
And oh my gosh. I will never edit the same way again.
I used the wonderful split-screen feature on my Mac to have my manuscript on the left side and a brand-spanking new blank document on the right. At first, it felt like a chore to retype every single word . . . until the sixth sentence. Literally, that fast. I started changing sentences around, taking out words, adding in new and better descriptions, and rewriting dialogue. And while yes, I do that with other edits too, this time around I changed things that I would never think about changing before. And why is that? Because I was already retyping everything!
As the original post says, "You can edit, sure.  But you WILL NOT get down to the level of change that needs to happen in a second draft.  You will let things slide.  Your eyes will miss things.  You will say 'eh, good enough.'"
THIS IS SO TRUE. Retyping every word almost completely eliminates the possibility for you to miss mistakes and skip over things that should probably be changed or rewritten. I can't believe how many changes I've made to my book. All those annoying mistakes and plot issues that I keep putting off for later are being fixed, and the book itself is starting to flow so much better. I've made a bunch of little notes to myself about new issues I've found and ways to fix those issues. 
Currently I'm retyping a chapter that I have never liked, and since I'm retyping it anyway, I'm going to take advantage and change the entire thing! Hopefully with a little more brainstorming I'll be able to finish by this evening.
I definitely recommend this editing method to every writer because it is seriously so eye-opening. I am catching mistakes I didn't even know need to be caught! Yes, it sounds insane and awful and tedious, but trust me when I say you won't regret giving it a try. I did, and I really am asking myself why I haven't done this before.

2 comments:

  1. I've seen that Tumblr post. I should try it out after I, y'know...finish something. :D

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  2. I do this too!! It is sooo helpful, especially if you are a visual person like me ;D. Have fun editing and good luck!!

    Emily
    emilyywrites.wordpress.com

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