Writing while Sailing: Retyping a novel

I love to read books and blogs on how to write and remember reading a tip I’ve never followed before.

The tip: When you’ve finished a good quality draft of your novel, put in a drawer for a least two weeks, longer if you have the patience. I’ve done this part. What I haven’t done is the next part of the tip. Retype your entire novel.

What? I thought, who has the time? And is it worth it?

Now that I’m back on Mattina, and we are in the Exumas, I’ve found the time.

I’ve typed in the first 8 chapters and am amazed at what I’m discovering.

First, typos appear fresh. I’ve seen some that I was sure I’d edited out.

Second, dropping clues too early jumped out at me. By letting time go by, I can see the novel with fresh eyes and have been able to hold back information. I think this will make the novel more tense.

Third, I had a few names that didn’t suit the character I’d assigned them to. Yup – changed those too.

Fourth, and the best result, when I read a sentence and it’s not the best it could be, I don’t want to type it back in. It’s easier to let go of writing and rewrite a sentence when it’s not on the page yet.

I’m amazed at how well this technique works. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but I think Look The Other Way will be a better novel because of it. Too bad my typing sucks.

If you have any editing techniques you’ve tried that worked for you, let me know.

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading . . .


4 thoughts on “Writing while Sailing: Retyping a novel

  1. This makes a lot of sense to me.
    What I’ve done, especially before submitting something for critique, is to print out the hard copy and then edit with the red pen–writing changes on the back of the page if I have to. Then I type in the changes, which ends up being another editing pass.
    Based on your tip, I might try typing the whole edited copy in from scratch! 🙂


  2. I’m trying this now and wow, wow, wow…it’s finally allowing my mind to be open to change and insert changes naturally. I feel like I”m saving a lot of time doing this actually and it’s really helping me refocus on my story with fresh eyes which makes a difference! Thanks for the tip!


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