Thursday, November 01, 2007

Another Revelation

So last night, as I was editing while manning the door for the tricker treaters -- and don't get me started on the teenagers who arrive sans costume. Talk about taking the bloom off the tomb! -- I realized something.

I simply cannot write a book on the computer alone. I can't even do multiple drafts without a hard copy edit. I don't seem to get the right perspective, which means I wander farther off the path and wind up with more material to be cut than if I read the manuscript on paper.

Is it because having the book on paper gives me a little more distance? Is it because the screen only shows a part of the page, and I need to see the whole thing? Is it because I began writing on an IBM Selectric?

I don't know, but I do know that from now on, I'm going to make a hard copy every time I finish a chapter and not move on until I've done at least one pass with my red pen.

Sorry to the trees, although I do recycle as much as I can. Previous draft pages get cut up for making my many lists and other notes before they go to the recycling bin. But I think I've got to go back to the way I began writing, and that means piles of paper and lots of colored ink.


Kimber Chin said...

I'm a hard copy editor also.

There are studies that say online readers scan and that's exactly what I do.

Okay for reading but not for editing.

Margaret Moore said...

Aha! That could be it.

My daughter says she has to edit on hard copy, too. Maybe that's not just my influence!