Friday, November 05, 2010

Revising a Manuscript: Creating Mind Space

Now that I have a schedule, I'll start prewriting. This step actually started when I read over the editorial letter and line edits, but what's a schedule if you can't mix it up?

One of the first prewriting tasks on my schedule is leaving time for my mind to chew and stew and steep on all the information it has absorbed about my story in the past few weeks. This will allow it to find images, metaphors, plot twists, events, ideas, character traits, and so on, in a free place and time. I'm not pushing my brain or my imagination at this part of the process.

I carry a spiral notebook (red, my favorite color!) wherever I go, and as I think of something new, I write that in my notebook. Later, as I actually write, I'll decide what among those notes fits and what doesn't. Through this process, I'm discovering that revising/rewriting is as much about what to leave out as what to leave in. Eventually, anything that can't hang on the story's theme will have to be left out.

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