A story grows

0940, May 7, 2008 Manila time. I’m finalizing my essay entitled ‘The Osims Years’ (from ‘Aglibut Sweet, tamarind’). I thought this will be the last revision, but I find that I’m a long way from there, calling at least for 2 more rewritings.

At 0930, I saw it was still 6 pages singlespaced and 2,964 words. It’s not too long as far as I’m concerned (I’ve written longer), but it’s not yet well organized, it doesn’t yet read smoothly, with or without subtitles. What to do?

I decided to create an outline where there was none before, so I have this:

The Osims Years
Good image
Degree programs
Graduate, undergraduate
Science & service facilities
Business Assistance Center

Sweet tamarind
International collaborations
The staff
A town grows

There is text, of course, underneath those subtitles. As I look at my outline, I see my essay is not yet free-flowing, and the outline does not yet suggest a good sequence, but at least I can see the parts. the parts are what I will rearrange through Word 2003’s outline-organize feature.

That’s the beauty of Word 2003 (Word XP too, Word 2000, Word 1997). With the outline-organize feature, you can create an outline on the fly – it took me only 5 minutes to create my outline for those 6 pages, including speed-reading time. I can then reorganize the subheads (along with their underlying texts) and see what happens. I can undo the damage, if damage it is; I can promote or demote a subhead to a higher or a lower level, as the case may be.

Let’s see what happens next. It’s 0950 as I finish handwriting the draft of this.

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