Thursday, February 2, 2012

Splicing and Chunking

Today I found myself chunking the beginning of the book I'm currently re-writing.  

Chunking is what I call one of my editing methods: chunking and splicing.

Splicing is what I do when I've re-written a scene a dozen times, am heartily sick of it, and the stupid thing still won't come out right.  At that point, I print out each failed try and circle the sentences and paragraphs that I like.  I cut them out and move them around like puzzle pieces until I'm happy with the result.  Then I tape them down on line paper and fill in the gaps by writing a few lines here and there with ball-point pen.  It's surprisingly effective.

Chunking is similar, except you're moving whole scenes (aka chunks) around, instead of paragraphs.  Its surprising how often a story flows better when I yank a scene out of its original place and put it somewhere else.  (I don't know what that says about my subconscious.)  Of course, I have to make sure I make a backup file, just in case a scene I'm moving was in the right place all along.

So how about you guys?  Any favorite editing tricks you'd like to share?

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