Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Writing Short Cuts ... or Not

Can you remember what it was like to create your novel using a typewriter? Challenging, wasn’t it? Some of you probably don’t even remember typewriters.  I had--still have--four of them. They’re packed away. I don’t have the heart to get rid of them. What if I needed them someday? 

I can remember using White-Out like crazy--before the self-correcting days. I’ve also been guilty of typing revised words on paper, carefully cutting them out and pasting them over the offensive errors so I could Xerox a clean copy to send to an editor or agent. What lengths I’d go to so I wouldn’t have to retype the entire page.
I remembered my typewriter days when I came across Ken Follett’s website. He has a Master Class with writing instruction.  Follett doesn’t edit his first drafts. Sure, he uses a computer but he says pulling the first draft up on the screen makes him lazy. He keys in (yes, retypes) every word of his novel forcing himself to rethink his sentences.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

Reading the way Ken Follett writes makes me realize how spoiled I am. How lazy. I took short cuts with the typewriter and I’m still taking short cuts.  Maybe that’s why I’m no Ken Follett.
How about you? Do you give 100% all the time, or are you prone to taking a short cut or two in your plotting, your characterization; choosing a blah sentence instead of one that paints a very visual action?

By the way, check out Ken Follett’s MASTER CLASS, then come back and share with us.

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