Friday, September 9, 2011

"Knots" in Writing

Question: How do you untie “knots” in your writing”

Quote: “I draw a distinction between writer’s knots and writer’s block. A block is not knowing what to say; a knot is having too much to say. A block can be psychological; a knot is almost always structural. A block is a lack of information to deliver; a knot is a problem of delivering information.”

What can you do to untie “knots” in your writing?
. Start with a summation.

.Perform a crime-scene investigation. “Write out in just a few words the function of each of your paragraphs.”

. Reverse-outline your story. “A reverse-outline begins by collecting a list of the first sentences of each paragraph, the so-called topic sentences. Check the list for an orderly progression.”

. Chunk out your story. “Chunking means breaking down your story into its basic components—beginning middle, and end….”

 .  If all else fails, complete a write-through. “A ‘write-through’…means writing full-out, noon-stop, beginning to end, the Big Sloppy Revision. Don’t edit. Just do it.”

Comment: This sounds like a short-course in how to revise. RayS.

 Title: “How to Untie Your Writing Knots.” Jeff Shear. The Writer (April 2011), 215-215.

No comments:

Post a Comment