Thursday, November 7, 2013

I'm rather fond of motivational tricks.

I was struggling with a way to get into rewriting.  Just examining the manuscript doesn't work -- it's boring.  I'll get a vague sense of something wrong, but can't quite get at the reasons.

So I've learned a trick.

When I write the first drafts, I write them in 3rd Person/Past Tense, as usual.  Pretty standard, comfortable format.  Most books are written this way.

Then I rewrite the book from beginning to end --  by turning it into 1st Person/Present Tense.

And then turn it back to 3rd Person/Past Tense again.

(I do this one or two chapters at a time, though.  So I'll always have a workable copy.)

There isn't a one to one correlation between the two versions.  I can't always simply change "He" to "I" and back again.

But it is this difficulty that make me look closer and see that I've used the same word twice, or that the middle of the sentence would work better at the beginning of the sentence, or that paragraph would work better before rather than after the other paragraph.

In other words, changing the perspectives and tenses forces me look at the words.  It gives me a handle.

Admittedly it's a trick.

I'm rather fond of motivational tricks.

If they work.

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