A while back I set out to post a day-by-day account about creating a novel from the first, “OMG this is a great idea” to the reality of slogging through the middle to the end. In this case, I’m slogging backward, because if you read the earlier posts I wrote the end after I wrote the beginning.
I’m picking up at Day 11, and since I’ve had a long break in writing, this is the time for a printout. (BTW the Days I’m counting are only writing days, not those I’m off diddling around doing other stuff, like staring at the fish the blue heron hasn’t snatched yet.)
I usually do a single spaced draft and carry it outside or to another room. Somehow switching where I sit while I’m editing helps me pick up glitches or logical gaps. Sometimes it helps me find a better way to weave in a thread or to dig into a character a bit more deeply.
For me a printout is still the best way to read in large chunks and to “get” the flow of a piece. I seem to be able to figure out if I’m building the tension or letting it sag, if I’m bringing out what I want in a scene or missing the heart of it, and if I’m generally heading toward that end that I wrote last month. I also realize that this is not going to be the last time I go to paper, so when I start to read at this point in the process, I’m not looking for any details like punctuation, spelling or grammar. I’m out to get the BIG PICTURE.
If you want more information about how the experts proofread, here’s a good checklist from ehow that you might bookmark.
So this is the day for cranking up the DeskJet and using another $30 in ink. Have you noticed that the cheaper the printers, the more expensive the cartridges?