On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Put Your Best Writing Up Front

Always put your best writing up front. Don't hold anything in reserve.

The writer often feels (even if not articulated) that he or she isn't capable of writing at this high level of quality throughout the whole manuscript. And in a sense this may be true, but there is a wonderful technique called cutting and pasting that's so easy. Simply go through your manuscript and cut the bad stuff, put all the good stuff end to end, then fill in the holes.

The bigger hurdle for the writer often is the sense of inadequacy: you may feel you were lucky with this one scene, but couldn’t do it again.

Yes you can. Have faith in yourself. If you use up all of your good stuff, you're going to have to come up with more that is just as good. And you will. Many studies have shown that the best way to become skilled in an area is, surprise, doing it. So keep writing, even if it stinks, and when something's good copy and paste it in your end-to-end file. You'll be amazed at how this file begins to grow into a gripping story.


  1. interesting concept to have an "end-to-end" file, speparate from your ms. =)

  2. Hi Michelle, I went through four drafts of Lever before I finally had a compete story from start to finish. This end to end technique was essential to keep me from becoming too discouraged. It really works! Thanks for stopping by :-)

  3. Hi Amy

    I love the concept of an end-to-end file, and you make it sound so easy to do.

    Previously I've heard of keeping all the scenes you cut in a separate file, but your idea appeals to me more.