short fiction

Putting the pieces together: a tip for writers

I was working on a complicated short story and I couldn’t figure out how to sequence the events. I sat at my computer copying and pasting, scrolling up and down the word document, searching for what should go where. Finally I just printed it out, cut up the different segments and laid them all out on the floor. I tried out many different sequences until I found the best one. I also cut up some blank strips of paper and put them  in between sections that needed a transition.

2013-06-27 10.19.35It was so helpful to edit my story in this unconventional manner. I spend so much time on the computer, sometimes I forget that writing can happen off the screen. I highly recommend trying this out, but first, here are two tips:

1. Wait a little while before putting it in order. I tried putting it in order right after printing it and I ended up putting it back in the exact same order. I tried it again the next day, and came up with a much better, fresher order.

2. If you have pets, tape it up as soon as you’re done . 

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Even if this short story goes nowhere, Marla will always love my writing.

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