Douglas Manuel: The Different Stages of Writing, Ruthless Revisions and Trusting the Collisions

Oct 14, 2019, 03:04 PM

Ph.D. student and teacher Douglas Manual discusses the different stages of writing a poem, from taking notes on his iPhone, to doing free-writes, to editing. He shares how his process has changed over time, why he switched from writing short stories to writing poems, and how he’s become more patient with the work over time.

Ph.D. student and teacher Douglas Manual discusses the different stages of writing a poem, from taking notes on his iPhone, to doing free-writes, to editing. He shares how his process has changed over time, why he switched from writing short stories to writing poems, and how he’s become more patient with the work over time. 

Rewriting Strategies: Douglas shares the “Tippecanoe" exercise, showing us how rearranging sentences can create new associations that often work in unexpected ways. The same goes for a ruthless revision, taking out pieces we think we need and letting the rest collide into place. Basic take-away - you should edit until it really, really hurts. Then you know you’re done.