Write. Reverse. Delete. Repeat.

Since I’m spending so much time revising and thus, trying to make each sentence in my MS just right, I thought it might be worth mentioning what I have slowly discovered this past year or so… Sometimes all the right words are already on the page – just in the wrong order. I like to blame this on fatigue, or perhaps mild dyslexia, or both. If it gets late enough and I start typing with my eyes closed, the tsegnarts things come out. 

Frex: I just spent a good twenty minutes angsting over one weensy line of dialogue at the end of a chapter. You know – those lines that need to say more than all the ones written between it and the first line? So I cat-napped on my keyboard, kicked off my shoes and walked around barefoot, went into the kitchen to hold the conversation with myself in the dark, drank some ice water to try to wake up, and finally sat back down. Then I switched the beginning of the line to the end, and the end to the beginning. It works. Or at least, tonight it does.

So if you’re having trouble trying to say what you want to say – take a good look at what’s already there. Take an earlier paragraph and plunk it later. Move the dialogue closer together. Delete something! Or rearrange your sentences. Then you can have a bruised forehead like me from smacking yourself, saying “Doh!” 

And then, you move on to the next page…

13 thoughts on “Write. Reverse. Delete. Repeat.

        1. Um, okay you win because I think I just realized it’s called a triple-lutz not a triple lux and I feel incredibly stupid. (Guess who’s NOT going to Beijing??) Plus you totally whipped me in gymnastics with that human pyramid thing… ;)

  1. I totally agree. I end up struggling over something for awhile and then rearranging the sentences all the time. It is frustrating that I can’t see the solution right off. But it does feel good when it works.

  2. This is so true! I also find that when I’m tired, I write REALLY LONG sentences that go on forever and have all sorts of fascinating parenthetical and punctuational methods to keep them going on forever — and so I have to go back and correct these sentences made eternal by em-dashes. ;p

  3. I’ve taken huge chunks from my book and re-arranged them, then put them back to normal, re-arranged them again, going back and forth litereally for hours. It’s kind of fun–like a jigsaw puzzle of words.

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