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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rewriting: III Scenes

A real writer identifies her least memorable scenes and takes them out. Then a real writer scrambles to figure out what in the #!!% to do next.

I meant to blog this morning. It's Thursday and that's my second blog day of the week, Monday being the first. (My attempt at organization in 2010) Then I started this triage on my manuscript and kaboom. Suddenly I had a September event coming before a February one in the same year. I had the motivation for an action in Chapter 10 floating around in a different Chapter 15. It's taken the day to sort it out, but I think the process worked.

Here's what I did:  I took my least memorable scene and cut it, keeping only the pieces that I needed to maintain the threads I had going. Then I moved to my second least memorable scene and cut it. I repeated this process three times. In the end I put back one scene with a major rewrite and fitted the bits I needed from the other two into places where they were more effective.


I've been on and on about what a "real does" when it comes to rewriting,  and today I have one more thing to add. A real writer knows where her butt is.

10 comments:

  1. I am always amazed at your ability to slice, dice and rearrange. You are a great rewriter.

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  2. Thank goodness. I'm a lousy first drafter!

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  3. In reading all these wonderful writer's blogs, I'm beginning to realize, each of us has her/his own way of writing/revising. I beginning to realize there is no right or wrong way. It's what works for you, for me, that matters.

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  4. I'm impressed you can identify the "least memorable" scenes and actually have the courage to cut them out. I love cutting, but it takes me a loooong time to figure out which scenes I don't actually need.

    Great picture, by the way. :-)

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  5. Wow, interesting to see how you approached it. I'm going to keep it in mind for my next revision.

    I also found it helpful to make a chapter by chapter summary of the book. If the chapter does nothing to move the action forward, I cut it. It's embarrassing how many chapters are just fluff and how they aren't even missed.

    Thanks for making me look at things in a different way.

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  6. It sounds to me like you got some serious revising done. So yay! As for blog days, I've decided to blog a few times a week when I'm ready, not to set specific days. That way there is no pressure when other things need to be done.

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  7. The summary idea is great. That way you can see the flow of the book. And, Bish is right. Everyone has a way that works best for them. I've never rewritten like this before, so maybe I think I do it differently depending on the book.

    Learning.

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  8. I love your last observation, "A real...knows where her butt is." Too true. Can you get tendonitis there, because I think sometimes I'm working on it. Good luck w/ the rewrites!

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  9. Genial fill someone in on and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.

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  10. Oh I love this method you have and I'm going to do that on my first round of revisions!

    Thanks for the great info and post.

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