I am spending a nice day cutting and pasting.  when I write a chapter, I end up with about 3/4 the amt of pages in the chapter in leftover notes.  then I sort them into the other documents where they seem to belong:  plans and ideas for the novel as a whole, ideas about what I might be doing formally and ideologically; footnotes to myself in earlier chapters about moments I’m tracking; notes for the next or future chapters; and cut text- a document that collects by chapter bad paragraphs and rejected approaches.  There is a way that this is busywork but I want to speak up for busywork, because it’s a matter of getting to know your materials, just feeling them and moving them physically, making decisions about them.  And I am finding that for every hour or so I end up adding a sentence or two to the new first giant paragraph of the new chapter.

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