Friday 1 March 2024

Drafts on paper

When I'm at workshops others seem to come up with finished products in minutes. Not me. My first drafts (even of poems) aren't much good. I'm a rewriter.

My first drafts are always hand-written. When I transfer them to a computer I still mostly edit on paper, printing them out so I can scribble on them. I use arrows (or sometimes numbers) to indicate changes in the sentence and clause order - I'm not good at getting the ordering right first time. I usually add more text than I take away. The closer to a final draft I get, the more I take into account the reader viewpoint. Just before I send a piece off I sometimes make changes purely for the editor (paying particular attention to the first paragraph, etc).

Editing on paper is becoming a lost art. Fortunately, Flaubert’s messy drafts have been scanned in – see for example "I, chap 7 : La levrette Djali - définitif, folio 91". My rewriting workshop talk has more examples.

No comments:

Post a Comment