M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary: 03/16/15

I’ve been trying to do more of my edits without actually printing the page out and writing on it. Part of me thinks this most save time because I’m not writing down the changes and then typing be them into the computer. Each time I try this, I keep being wrong, however. Somtimes you just have to print the thing out and write out your changes first.

I don’t know why this is. I think it has to do with how my brain classifies what I’m reading. On a computer screen I can’t accurately judge where I am, how far I’ve gone, etc. The physical paper helpse get a better feel for the manuscript. I can page back and forth, redo edits, make sure what I thought sounded good at the beginning still sounds good when I reach the end…

Last night, I had to divide a chapter of dialogue across four chapters. (Yes I’m still on chapter four.) I spent all Sunday trying to do it in my head and on the computer screen, and it just wasn’t working. I printed the chapters in question out, figuratively ripped them to shreds with a pen, and saw exactly what needed to be moved and where. It probably took twenty minutes. Tonight I’ll put everything in the computer.

The point: old school works for very good reasons.

How about you? Do you print out and write or do you edit straight on the screen?


About M. B. Weston

M. B. Weston is an award-winning fantasy, pulp, young adult, steampunk, and paranormal author. Her attention to procedure and detail gives her works an authentic gritty, military feel that takes an adventure tale to the level of a true page-turner. Weston’s writing attracts both fantasy and non-fantasy readers, and her audience ranges from upper-elementary students to adults. A gifted orator, Weston has been invited as a guest speaker to numerous writing and science fiction/fantasy panels at conventions across the US, including DragonCon, BabelCon, NecronomiCon, and Alabama Phoenix Festival. She has served on panels with such authors as Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. F. Lewis, Todd McCaffrey, and Jonathan Maberry. Weston has spoken to thousands of students and adults about the craft of writing and has been invited as the keynote speaker at youth camps and at several schools throughout the US.
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4 Responses to M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary: 03/16/15

  1. I tend to edit on the screen rather than print and edit. I will go back three pages from the day before and start reading/editing. This helps me prepare for the new scenes. The benefit of this, for me, is that often those three pages flesh out into six pages, depending upon what else surfaces. Sometimes dialogue sparks a plot element I missed, or the description of something in the background might lead to a new revelation. I usually edit each page about 20 times. Sometimes more.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Darren says:

    I used to edit on print-outs but found myself getting into even more of a mess that way – but that’s probably because I have multiple projects on the go, all the time, and by the time I got to the computer things might have changed again. I like Leonard’s method probably hit the same numbers he talked about. Good luck whichever way you find best for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • M. B. Weston says:

      I like the go back three pages and edit idea… I’m going to use that in the future!

      I’m also thinking that sometimes just typing into the computer will work on my third draft. My second draft needs far too much cut and paste…


  3. rhunsinger says:

    Reblogged this on rrhunsinger and commented:
    How do you read from the screen vs paper?


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