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Power Down

How (and Why) to Begin Reworking Your Novel Away from the Computer

Kathleen McCleary

At one point while I was rewriting my second novel, I printed the entire book and spread it out, chapter by chapter, in a grid across the floor in my office. I had thirty or more chapters, plus blank pages to mark where yet-to-be-written chapters might go. I spent days deciding how to structure the book: what to cut, what to add, what to move from this part of the book to that part. I came home one day about two weeks into the process and found my husband in the kitchen.

“Oh, hey,” he said. “You know that mess all over the floor in your office? I picked it up for you.”

I stared at him, speechless.

“I’m kidding,” he said. “I’m kidding!” The fact that ...

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