This is my current process for chapter editing:

Step 1. Write or dictate a very messy first draft…anything I can think of for a scene.

Step 2. Print. Highlight good bits.

Step 3. Cut out good bits.

Step 4. Group like-with-like. Think about a theme for the chapter, or a central question, some center of gravity, such as an emotion I want to earn by the end of the chapter. Move pieces around until the proper order ‘emerges’ to best support my theme.

Step 5. Re-outline with tape and glue. Write some transitions. Each sheet of paper is its own scene or beat in the chapter.

Step 6. Dictate new draft.

Step 7. Line-edit new draft on the computer by highlighting a page at a time and not moving forward until I’m satisfied with that page.

About E.S.O. Martin

E.S.O. Martin is a writer, a California native, and a graduate of SF State's Creative Writing MFA program.
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