The Physical Act (of writing)


Writing –  it seems like something your brain does more than your body, right? Well that is not always true. There are times during your manuscript revision, where you physically have to get in there and rearrange things. I’m talking about going old school with note cards. Yes, I’m talking about writing on actual paper, you know the kind they make from trees? It may be foreign to many of you, but I’m still a little old school.

I have found rearranging the scenes in my manuscript to be a real pain in the butt via digital means. When you start cutting and pasting in a word document, it gets messy and you can’t remember if you have cut that part or pasted it where it’s supposed to go. Note cards are an easy fix to this problem.

It’s a pretty easy concept. First you write all your scenes on note cards and I do mean all of them. They can just be shorthand descriptions you, as the writer, will understand. So for example:

Scene – Simulator

Characters – Amira and Anson

There you go. They can be that easy. I know who is in the scene and where it takes place. If there is something a bit more detailed I need to write on it, then I can do that as well, but it can be this easy and doesn’t have to be something long and drawn out, as many places on the internet suggest.

Then I lay them all out in the order they currently are in the manuscript. I know I want to change this order, but right now I want them in the order they appear. This is when we start to get messy. I take scenes from one area and move them into another, creating a flashback or just a memory. In between these scenes, I’ll have to add some text to make everything run a little more smoothly, but I can physically see my scenes in order and see if I will like the flow.

So that is what I’m doing this week. I had a flash of brilliance about the opening of my novel and now know which scenes need to be rearranged. There will be some cutting and also some adding, but I think it will make the novel into a much more polished manuscript. This could be the difference between “hey it was good” to “OMG that was amazing.” I’m hoping I’m heading towards AMAZING!

Until next time remember, The Community is watching!

Follow me on Facebook at LJ Fleming


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