tackling a messy first draft


You may have just produced a great wadge of material through free writing. Or perhaps you have a very messy draft of a paper, or a draft thesis chapter. Where to start to try to sort out the useful writing from the rest? What is gold and what is dross? How to get to a more refined next draft?

A revision is now in order.

We all have to redraft. Really. It’s not just you.  Even Proust revised.


So, here’s one revision strategy to try – it’s only one, there are others – but this is worth a go to see how it works for you… I call it The Number Off.

Step One:

Read through the draft and pull out the one or two sentences that seem to sum up what you are trying to say – the point you want to make.


If there isn’t a ready…

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