BRIDGET WHELAN writer

for writers and readers….

How to Make Mistakes Jump Out of Your Manuscript like Fleas from a Dog – Clare Skuse QUOTES FOR WRITERS

Distance is an underrated writing tool, and not just physical distance, but emotional distance too.
When I’ve completed a novel, I will print it out and put it away in the drawer for a few weeks (where time allows) before going back to edit.
‘Putting it in the drawer’ physically and emotionally allows those scenes to marinate; to bathe in their own essence for a while and collect new flavours; new possibilities.
Any creative writing group will tell you that ‘fresh eyes’ are vital on a long project because if one is too close to a story, especially one containing personal heartaches or experiences, mistakes can easily be missed. But when I go back to a project, after the break, the mistakes or errors or gaps in the plotline will invariably jump out like fleas from a scruffy dog.

Clare Skuse from In Praise of Not Writing

6 comments on “How to Make Mistakes Jump Out of Your Manuscript like Fleas from a Dog – Clare Skuse QUOTES FOR WRITERS

  1. beth
    April 15, 2022

    This makes such good sense. On a very small scale, I love to do the weekend nyt crosswords. I’ve found what works for me is doing as much as I can can on my first pass, walk away, get on with things and back to it later with fresh eyes. All of a sudden answers seem clear and obvious

    • bridget whelan
      April 16, 2022

      I’ve heard it said that it helps to get away from a taxing mental task by doing something that occupies your mind at a fairly superficial level – like sorting the washing – meanwhile your brain is focussing on the crossword, plot twist, or whatever. You can then go back and solve it…

      • beth
        April 16, 2022

        That’s right, your brain keeps working….

      • Sarah Waldock
        April 17, 2022

        I write fanfiction or poetry for a change

  2. Sarah Waldock
    April 15, 2022

    yes, it totally works, even for those of us who are dyslexic.

    • bridget whelan
      April 16, 2022

      Come to think of it, perhaps it’s especially helpful for dyslexics (of whom I am one)

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This entry was posted on April 15, 2022 by in Quotes and tagged , , .
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