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.