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January 6, 2007

Revisions, revisions

Last night we had our second co-writing session. For several hours we rehashed and revised our short story. It was hard work. When we were done we were mentally exhausted. So we printed out a fresh copy of the story and this morning are going through it again. Now we are on the fifth or sixth revision! It is truly amazing to me how we can still find things we don't like about our own writing after reading it and revising it so many times.
One process we have settled into for co-writing:
One person reads a paragraph out loud to the other. The person reading becomes the official recorder of changes for that paragraph. Both of us has a copy in front of us, but when a person reads, and then changes are made, they reread the paragraph with the changes. The copy in front of the listener becomes useless then. Besides, the listener is playing the role as editor and has to really listen, not read.
Another thing we started to do is print out a copy after our session so we can go read it privately and make comments, notes and revisions to discuss later. Neither of us actually change the story without discussing it and running it by the other person. Sometimes we find out our changes are not really that good and by bouncing the idea off the other person, it changes form into something better. Do we disagree on changes? Yes.
When we disagree on a change we leave it and move on to the next part. Sometimes we go back and hash it out or leave it until our next session. Sometimes we need to just think about it for a while. Maybe there is a better way of expressing what we mean. Conveying meaning is not always so easy as putting down some words.

Posted by carl1236 at January 6, 2007 9:34 AM | Writing