Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In Which I Printed Wrong

I've recently come to a realization regarding my revision process and it is this:

I printed my novel incorrectly.

How can that be, you ask? Surely there's only one way to print something?

No. That is not true.

Let me 'splain.

So I originally printed off the whole novel as soon as I was done with the first draft. Mostly it was just so I could stash it somewhere where Twin hangs out so she could find it and be all surprised. But also I figured it would have to be line edited anyway, so it certainly couldn't hurt.

Also I don't think I could have scene blocked without having it printed off next to me. I mean, I guess I could have written out each scene on a colored post it note by reading each scene on the computer. But really, that sounds horrible.

Also I've learned that if I find someone even remotely irritating (and by remotely irritating I mean, just barely intolerable) then I don't do it.




And scene blocking off a computer screen strikes me as something that is irritating.

BUT, all those reasons as to why I wanted it printed off doesn't counter the problems I'm now running into.

1. - I added a few scenes. These scenes are obviously not in my printed version

2. - I created chapter breaks

3. - I rearranged some scenes.

All of this leaves me with a version of my novel, printed out, that doesn't match the organization of the current novel.

And this is something I find irritating. For example, when I wanted to line edit chapter one, well the third scene in chapter one was originally scene 8, so I have to page through the novel until I find it. It's not that big a deal, but still. Kind of a pain when you have 325 pages to page through.

But, all of this irritation has led me to understand the correct way, in the future, to print out a WIP.

No, it's not chapter by chapter (or at least for me it's not).

It's scene by scene.

That way, I can move the scenes around individually whenever I want and not have to worry about chapters changing.

So when I'm done with this first set of line edits, I'm going to add page breaks not just after each chapter, but after each scene, to prevent any future irritation (and don't worry, it will be printed on the back of the current version. I don't want to waste paper)

Does this make sense? Am I crazy?

28 comments:

Palindrome said...

It makes total sense. That's one of the reasons why I like Liquid Story Binder so much. You can keep everything separate but together. I will show you when we have movie night or bring my laptop to the next meeting.

Anne said...

Don't forget the crazy dance you did when i found said ms

Emily White said...

That sounds like a great idea. There's nothing worse than having a hard copy of something that no longer resembles the newer version. It's a big pain in the toosh trying to work off of it while trying to remember the new layout.

Palindrome said...

LOL! Next time take pictures so I can laugh.

Lola Sharp said...

Scene breaks are a good idea. I like it.

Jaydee Morgan said...

This is how I do it. Since I write in scenes, I usually print in scenes as well. You're right, it does make rearranging much easier :)

Falen said...

Palindrome - yeah you'll have to show me. Also they should pay you for the amount of good press you give them

Anne - Crazy? it wasn't crazy. It was AWESOME

Emily - i know! It's so frustrating!

Palindrome - how can i take pictures when i'm dancing?

Lola - i wish i had come up with the idea before i printed it

Janel said...

Not being able to find things, in my writing or in my house, drives me nuts! Good luck with getting everything set up!!

Summer said...

That's a great idea. I'll have to remember it when it's my time...

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Before my recent encounter, which you read about eek, I used to print off scenes in different colored paper. So I had like scene one in white, 2 in pink etc. It helped me see in each chapter where the scene was so I could edit then corresponded that color to my story board. I'm way too color coordinated.
When stuff like that happens I blame technology, I should name my devices so I can properly scold them.
Best of luck with the new idea, sounds great!

JustineDell said...

What if you move a scene at the end to the beginning? Or, what if you change the ending and something changes in the arc of the story? Or what if you decide to change a characters name/flaws/conflicts?

There's always changes! I'm not sure there is a good way.

I don't print out my novel until it's done/re-written/and edited to the fullest. Then I print it out and let a few more people read it for typos purposes only. Then's it's no so bad. 300 pages is a lot of paper to waste. At least I recycle. LoL. ;-)

~JD

Alexandra Shostak said...

Haha, that makes sense, though you are a little crazy. I've never printed off a novel in order to work on it--other than for line-editing (because stuff looks way different printed out, and in a different font, than it does on the screen.) When I'm working on moving scenes and stuff around (and maybe this just has to do with my outlining method, too) I always work straight off the computer--which I suppose you would find intolerable ;)

I just feel bad printing that many pages off if I don't have to. I have, however, printed copies of my novels and put them in binders so I have a hard copy, just in case the world decides it hates me, and all of the four or five places I have my novels backed up (one being my gmail) decide to crash at the same time.

Actually, that reminds me. I don't have a printed version of my adult novel. I should go do that...

Also, question. So let's say you're moving the scenes and stuff around in hard copy. Then how do you change the manuscript document on the computer once you've done that? Do you have it all saved scene by scene?

Patti said...

I have so many printed copies of my book. Finally I started throwing them away, because really once I changed a scene, why was I keeping it.

Piedmont Writer said...

You are so brilliant, that's why I love you as much as I do. I currently write in scenes and not chapters, so this is a fantastic piece of advice for me.

Angela M. said...

I also edit on the 'puter, cut and paste style. I save the printout for after the major edits, and then I still get annoyed when I have to print a new one out every day for a week because I found more I want to change.

Anyway, I'm interested in this Liquid Story Binder thingamajig. Let us know how you like it!

Angie Paxton said...

No doesn't sound crazy at all. It sounds like a really great idea that I might steal!

Falen said...

Janel - for me it's less about not being able to find things, and more about the fact that i have to find them at all

Erica - the different colored paper sounds kinda awesome...

Justine - I'm an outliner so there is no changing of character conflicts. Maybe tweaking a bit, but i avoid large rewrites at all cost by doing much of that work before draft 1.
I physically can't do any editing on a computer. I just don't see the flaws like i do when it's printed, so it has to be printed if i plan on doing any sort of revisions.
And i recycle too, so no worries there - or i may shred it. The shredded paper can go with Twin to the shelter as a donation. They always need shredded paper for animal cages

Alexandra - nope it's saved as one big novel. But if i do move a scene (and i think one does indeed need to be pushed back a bit) i'll write it down in my revision notebook and then cut and paste in the computer. Or more likely i will just remember to do it. I have a good memory for stuff like that

Patti - i keep them until i've done a line edit on it. Then it's time to be re-used (printed on the back) and then recycled or shredded. Too many copies makes things worse

Piedmont - when i draft i write in scenes too! So this "new idea" i've come up with will really help the next time i'm writing a first draft

Angela - i wish i could decide on major edits while reading the story on the puter, but i guess my brain just doesn't work that way. It needs a paper copy to turn on editor mode

Angie - steal away!

Talli Roland said...

I write in scenes, as well, and I don't organsie into chapters until the final draft. Makes it easier for me to move things around.

Good luck!

B. Miller said...

Very cool idea. I wish I could get the hang of the Liquid Story Binder, but I feel like I need a tutorial or something... ha!

I tagged you in my blog today! Hope you get a chance to head over there and check it out.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Do what works for YOU, Falen. You're the one who has to keep up with the mess.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Ummm, my head hurts. It sounds like too much work. I like my flash drive, I think. :-)

Teebore said...


Does this make sense? Am I crazy?


Crazy.

Nah, seriously, it makes sense.

Southpaw said...

I just can’t print it off. I can’t bring myself to use up all that paper. So I keep versions of my WIP dated and in a special folder and I make a scene log.

Palindrome said...

well of course I meant for Anne to take the pictures. Or you take a picture of Anne mocking your happy dance. Either one would suffice.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I guess I write scene by scene, which for me is chapter by chapter. I write on paper, edit on paper, type on printer, print off and edit/revise each chapter and then move on.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post about Stripes

Shelley Sly said...

I never thought about printing it out scene by scene. That would help me a lot. Thanks!

Alexandra Crocodile said...

I think you shouldn't print until the final draft - if you print out hundreds of pages - think how many trees you use!

Falen said...

ugh, i wrote a comment and blogger ate it.

Talli - yeah that's probably a good idea

B Miller - i will check it out post haste

Alex - this is very true

Shannon - i always lose my flash drives... :(

Teebore - i'm probably a little crazy too

Southpaw - do you line edit on your computer too?

Palindrome - fine fine i'll work on that

Sharon - ooh you're a handwriter?!

Shelley - no problem

Alexandra - if i didn't print off until the final draft, there would never be a final draft because i can't edit on a computer screen. At least not line edit.
Also i awalys buy recycled paper and i always print on both sides of the paper.
Once the draft is used up it gets recycled or shredded and donated to the shelter.
So i'm about as green in my process as i can be

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