I’ve recently discovered cycling.
Editing in cycles to be precise.
Monica Leonelle’s book Write Better Faster got me on to this. Which is interesting because out of the whole book about, well, writing faster, the bit I recall the most is about cycling.
What is cycling?
Editing quickly (as fast as possible) many, many times.
I love this idea, because the thought of painstakingly going to a huge manuscript and fixing everything is horrifying to me.
The idea of passing through the story many times quickly, is a break through.
I already do this for the first draft: write as quickly as possible to get the idea down, reminding myself constantly that whatever crap I write it doesn’t matter because I can fix it on the rewrite.
Now, with cycling in mind, I can use the same process – working quickly – to fix holes, change the structure, build up character parts, add detail and sensory information, work on sentences, spelling and punctuation, with each pass. Reminding myself constantly, that it doesn’t have to be perfect because I can fix all the next time.
This is gold. I’m now going to try this with my current story: EscapeBoard (WIP title).
Hooray for cycling