The case for retyping instead of merely editing

I don’t pretend to be any sort of writing expert. I don’t have a degree in writing nor do I have a slew of books under my name.

Like many other writers, however, I labor with the herculean task of editing. It’s an endeavor you don’t appreciate the full impact of until you’re faced with a chapter that’s a hot mess and you have to fix it somehow. And then you realize you have 15 more just like it. It’s enough to make a grown woman cry….or sit in a corner and mutter for hours.

Until I discovered – almost by accident – that if I retype the entire chapter all the bumpy bits are magically smoothed. I get into the flow of the story instead of focusing on the words.

It’s easier to pull sections from later in the chapter or even the story when you retype. No more cutting and pasting and then rewriting an area over and over so it’s not awkward. The story takes precedent and everything gels together.

And if you think about it, how did most of us start writing? With a pad of paper sitting at a desk in school. We’d rewrite and rewrite until we were happy. It should be no surprised that technique would be ingrained in us.

So the next time you’re stuck with an unmanageable chapter, try retyping it and see where that gets you. You never know, it might just fix your issues as well.

3 thoughts on “The case for retyping instead of merely editing”

  1. I have an old book that I worked on years ago on my hard drive and I’ve been meaning to update it and get it published. After spending way too much time trying to smooth all the rough edges, I think your idea of retyping the whole thing is probably the best route. It would be too easy to leave in stuff that needs to go and too easy to let what’s there be good enough. It’s not something I want to do, but it’s good advice. Thanks.

    1. It sounds overwhelming, I know. But it really goes much quicker than I ever expected. I just take it one chapter at a time. 🙂

      Let me know how it works out for you!

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