Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Playing old games

I recently made the conscious decision to return to a method of writing I have often (and repeatedly) turned my back on. When it comes down to it my only really useful skill as a writer is to be able to sit down and knock out a couple of thousand words of story in an hour. Which is about as much as you need if you want to write a new version of a chapter from scratch.

I actually highly recommend cultivating this as a method for essay writing. It is the one I used during my short stints at university. Sitting down and writing four drafts and then cribbing from all of them for the final is a much more fruitful and less time consuming method of writing just about anything. Write, review, write review, write, review, and so on. and so on. I know that it is a lot less stressful than mulling over a single draft wondering what is missing or isn't working. You pick those things out in the review.

Whatever other benefits there may be, I know that it is by far the fastest and least stressful method of writing that I have ever used. If it doesn't work you can have another crack. Try something different, try adding different characters to the scene, or try moving the scene to another room or geographical location.

My recent return to this method have tightened up the early chapters in the Book, and given me three of the best chapters I have written in months.

I swear by it.

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