Friday, April 13, 2012
Reading as a reader
Once I've structured my novel by creating an outline and beat sheet, I tend to write very fast, and raw, using my outline and beat sheet as my road map. The resulting manuscript is not what I would consider a first draft. It's really not much more than an expanded beat sheet, missing a lot of detail description. I just want to get the story down, with all the scenes intact, albeit in an abbreviated form.
I then export an ePub file and and read my manuscript on my iPad. This gives me the experience of an ebook, and it's a different feeling than reading my manuscript.
I noticed recently that when I read my work in manuscript form, I read as a writer, or more specifically, as an author. The ebook format allows me to try a new approach, and that is to read my work as a reader, one that didn't write what I'm reading. The ebook environment helps facilitate that. I try to step away from the authorship, and envision what's missing (a lot considering the raw form I'm reading). But, by reading from the viewpoint of a reader, I can focus on the areas that need to be fleshed out, expanded, and detailed. It takes a little discipline to get in the mindset of a reader, and ignore the fact that I wrote what I'm reading, but the ebook has helped me to read from that perspective. The end result has been a better view of the holes I need to fill, and the work required to bring the manuscript to a first draft.