One night one of the writers I coach came in with a long, rambling, rumbling – uh -- bunch of words. “How can I fix this?” he asked.
Then I recognized the contents and said to myself: “Ah Ha! This is a splatter of thoughts.”
Okay, by golly. That makes it simple because I know exactly what to do with a splatter of thoughts, hot off the stove.
We sat down together at the computer and began going through the splatter, line by line and extracted those items that were already sentences. “Now, do any of these sentences go together?”
“But you don't understand," he moaned hopelessly. "This is poetry!”
“Right now it's a mess. Do you want my help or not?”
You have to be brutal with these writers
We grouped some of his sentences together and called some of the groups paragraphs. These we put at the top of the page in some kind of order -- that wasn't necessarily permanent.
Ordering the sentences within each paragraph took more time. My young writer was fascinated with the process because he could already see more splatters that would belong in some of these groups. We seemed to have all night so I let him sit at the keyboard so it was his fingers being worn to the nub.
The writer was already astounded at what we had produced. “Ive never written anything this good before!” he gushed 3 or 4 times.
We had saved our original document under an assumed name,
#2 is what we began our revision work on.
He gave my face a sharp, raking glance but, guilelessly, I stared right back at him. Finally he said,
“How about -- Shannon?
Would that name work?”
Sure enough, once we had polarized the piece with the girl's name inserted at strategic points
Silver Bell Options
Writers have some incredible options when it comes to production after their first draft is finished.
That's one too many “I”s, don't you think?
The simple way to improve Green Mansions is by slashing the whole introduction out of the book. It reads just as well without that first several thousand words.
What about an “it” in our document's viewpoint?
Try This At Home!
Would the viewpoint and storyline of your material have to be changed
As I said in the beginning,
save that first version
Shannon, will thank you for it.
About the author:
Lin Stone is a slightly
less than wealthy author, writer and
photographer currently living in Norman OK.
His current mission in life is letting others know
about the latest news in slant-beam radiation
treatments for victims of cancer.
"Anything with a 94% success rate in treating
cancer patients deserves an earnest investigation."
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