marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

adventures in revision

Hack, hack, hack -- you know, in the old days, they would actually take out a scissors and a paste pot in order to reorder stuff in a story.

It's not gotten that much easier even when you can open the file twice and hack and slash from one to the other, because the real difficulty lies in pulling out all the chunks of stuff that have to go somewhere, and then filing off everything that no longer fits, and mortaring them into their new place.  With plenty of mortar, often enough.

Can be rather easier with an outline.  When giving people advice on how to critique a story, I recommend criticizing the overarching plot and the soundness and consistency of characterization, and other big picture things first, and an outline helps with that when you're working with your own stuff.  Also, bracketing stuff and putting arrows to where it belongs is even easier than cut and paste.  (Neatly, so that it can be interpreted correctly when I'm typing it up is another matter. . . .)

But not always, particularly if the effect goes deep.   Sometimes there is no cure but to entirely rewrite the outline, with the old one at hand so as to steal all that I can. . . and remind myself that it's still easier than doing it in the manuscript.  If not that much easier. . . .
Tags: grumbles, outlining, plotting, revision
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