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Showing posts from October 20, 2020

Crucial Self-editing and Advanced Brain Trickery

A subject that often goes by the wayside until too late. People say, I write for myself, and it sounds so awful and so narcissistic, but in a sense if you know how to read your own work—that is, with the necessary critical distance—it makes you a better writer and editor. When I teach creative writing, I always speak about how you have to learn how to read your work; I don’t mean enjoy it because you wrote it. I mean, go away from it, and read it as though it is the first time you’ve ever seen it.   - Elissa Schappell ____________ Twenty years, several novels, a room full of edited manuscripts, and hundreds of workshops later, I'd like to share three self-editing techniques for narrative that I've effectively utilized on a spectrum from foundation to final milkshake cherry. First Multi-Part Editorial Phase After pounding out a few pages on any given day, I devote a hour or so at the end to clean up, i.e., I read over what I've written and immediately make corrections