Friday, September 9, 2011

Pre-Writing, Free-Writing, Re-Writing

I've made up a more succinct, rhyming version of the writing process:

Pre-Writing, Free-Writing, Re-Writing.

I described it to a student on a discussion board like this:

In my mind, there are three stages to writing: pre-writing, free-writing,
and re-writing (they even rhyme). First, collect notes, ideas, thoughts,
scribbles, outlines....a lot junk and stuff. Second, sit down with that material
and hammer out a draft without stopping to think. Just write it all down at once
and don't care about how it sounds or if the "rules" are right. Write so much
that you will have more than enough. Third, after putting it away for awhile,
pull that draft back out and begin cutting out everything that doesn't fit. Cut,
hack, trim, rearrange...keep the best stuff, the essential stuff, the
gold....throw out the ore. Keep the meat, trim the fat.

I find that if I write more than enough, I will increase my percentage of success....If I write 100 pages, I might have 5 awesome pages. If I write only 100 words, I might only have 5 awesome words. It's painful, but true.

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