Sorry for the lack of updates over the last couple days. A few writing gigs came my way at the same time, so I’ve got a number of deadlines to meet. But I figured I could contribute here at the same time by giving a few writing tips while I’m, you know, writing.
I linked to some great rewriting advice a few days ago, but here’s a tip that works for me:
Start each draft in a blank document.
Especially the first rewrite. This is more easily applied to shorter works, like a screenplay, article, or short-story. It obviously might not scale if you’re writing a novel.
But if at all manageable, when you go to rewrite, don’t just make edits to your first draft. Take a fresh look at your structure, at every idea and sentence. Editing a draft will only make you catch the smaller mistakes or the odd poorly phrased idea.
When you start a new draft in a blank document you’re not starting over entirely. But it’s like your first draft was the rehearsal and now, after you’ve got everything planned out, you can perform it for the first time.
This also frees you creatively on your first draft. You don’t have to be overly concerned with your structure, you can just get all your ideas out without stifling yourself.
You can repeat this process for as many drafts as you like, but after the second one you’ll probably be comfortable with copying and pasting more and more from the previous draft. And that’s okay if you’re satisfied with those portions.
Now, back to work…