Friday, January 4, 2008

Parting with Words

Having trouble doing a revision?
You know your story's too long and you need to make some drastic cuts, but you're afraid that by slashing away your precious words and phrases you've grown to love; you will ruin your story and loose the very essence you originally intended.

What's a writer to do? Simple. Copy and paste.

Copy your story into a new document and slash away. You'll have peace of mind knowing your original story is still in tact, safe and sound, saved under another document name.

Here's what I do...
I write a first draft and I leave it alone for a few days. I come back and read it with fresh eyes. I fix any simple editorial mistakes or add/change/delete a word or phrase. But when it comes to major revisions, I save that first draft as 1.0. 1= first draft. .0 = no revisions. I copy and paste the story onto a fresh new page. I save it and call it 1.1 1 = still the first draft. .1= first revision. I continue this process until I get to the end of the story. When I am ready to begin revising my second draft, I begin with 2.0 2 = second draft, no revisions… YET!

By the time I am done with a story, I have a file thick with all sorts of numbers, 1.0, 1.1, 1.2… 2.7... and so on. It tracks my revisions, let's me see my growth, reminds me of what I've done previously, and most of all, frees me to make those big and necessary changes. And voila! You’ve revised your story.

What method do you use?

Sheri ks, ks


Rebecca Gomez said...


I do exactly the same thing. Well, not exactly, because I don't get so fancy with the document names. Mine are more like Title1, Title2, etc.

Very good advice!

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

Thanks. How's that new job going?

“Personal limitation exists only in our ideas of who we are. Give up all notions of who you are and your limitations will vanish.”

- Anonymous