ERIC Number: ED227501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
How Prewriting Fits into the Writing Process.
Freeman, James A.
However the initial germ of a written work arises, there usually follows a prewriting period of meditation. At this rehearsal stage in writing, the author must gain a sense of audience and grope with such variables as genre, point of view, voice, line, tone, and pattern. Many authors of fiction keep journals or notebooks as incubation places where ideas for a work may arise. Lists can also act as a presyntactic ordering of things caught up in the net of a writer's concern. Some authors may use clustering or the unsubordinated mapping of ideas. While all writers engage in some type of prewriting rehearsal, there seem to be great differences in method. Reflective writers use extensive mental or physical prewriting before producing a polished first draft. Many short story writers are reflective and either prewrite extensively before getting to a first draft that is very close to a finished product or else they are forced by the strict limits of their genre to rewrite again and again. The reactive writers such as novelists use some sort of mental preparation but do very little actual prewriting. Nearly all of them plunge ahead without outlining or list-making, making most of their discoveries by actually writing. The fact that short story writers are usually reflective and novelists reactive contradicts the thesis that the two modes are developmental. Whether they are or not, it is clear that they characterize tangibly different ways of going about writing. One does not produce better writing than the other. Reflective writing tends to get at a product sooner in the writing process, but reactive writing can bring out things that might never have surfaced without freewriting. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Invention (Rhetorical)