Monday, February 9, 2009

Something realized

Edit hardcopy. I repeat: Edit hardcopy. In doing this I cannot believe I never realized what a vital step this is in the writing process. Perhaps being that I'm in the homestretch of putting the wrapping paper on what is technically my second novel, this is the first time I've really taken the time to print out and read the whole thing all the way through. In doing this, I'm finding significant ways in which to tighten and otherwise improve the overall voice of my writing. Perhaps I'm just that much more aware this time around of what constitutes good writing, but I can't emphasize enough how much better I'm feeling about this book despite the amount of extra time it's taking to finish it off.

Three times I've gone through my manuscript on the screen. Consequently, I've made some fairly significant changes, trimming the overall text down by about 23 thousand words and making adjustments according to my own sensibilities aided by comments provided by the gracious folks who agreed to read my work. But with the printed pages before me, I'm catching so much more in relation to overall voice and style.

To anyone out there who writes that might be reading this, I strongly suggest taking the time to print your work out, grab a pencil and go at it. You'll be amazed at what you might find.