Rewriting - Not as Bad as I Thought

44 MORE DAYS UNTIL HALF BLOOD PRINCE!!! I saw the clip on TV Sunday and now I'm more excited that ever! It looks like it's going to be the best movie of the year. I'm serious. :D

I had a bad headache today, so I'm probably not going to get any work done tonight. :(

Now onto my Monday article.

Saturday I began rewriting Andra. I just decided that it wasn't good enough to be queried, but it's such a great idea that I don't want to just give up on it. So I began the long process known as rewriting. So if you were wondering why there was no Snippet Saturday, it was because I was absorbed in my rewrite.

Why did it take me so long to start the rewrites even though I've been thinking about it for about a month now? Because I though it would be hard. Listening to everyone else describing their rewrite experiences doesn't much make you want to start, but I did.

And it wasn't as bad as I thought. I knew Andra was getting better from the very first paragraph. I've already finished rewriting the first two chapters and I'm halfway through the third. So how is rewriting done?

Well, I'm sure there are many methods to approaching the dreaded rewrite, but I only know mine. So it's one option, but remember: it's not the only one.

I start with two word documents on my screen and a spiral bound notebook. On the left of my screen is the original. Some people go with a complete and total rewrite when they're redoing a novel. I'm just doing a partial rewrite, adding scenes that need to be added, cutting those that are no longer needed, and fixing mistakes as I go along.

On the right of my screen is where I'm typing the new version. This way I can see the original while I type the new.

The spiral bound notebook is for taking notes on anything that needs to be changed, added, or that I need to remember. If there's a scene that needs to be added later in the story, I write down some notes so I remember. If I need to remember to add more thoughts, description, or worldbuilding than I write that down. If I'm cutting characters, all that goes onto the notebook. I almost have a full page of notes already and I'm on chapter three. Write down as much as you need to.

That's it. I just work through chapter by chapter. My goal is to do one a day and then I send it to my beta. They read through it and send me their suggestions and what they think. I polish the chapter based on the suggestions and then give it one last read through to check and see if there are any minor adjustments that I want to make. Once that's done, the chapter is ready to be shipped out. Chapter one has already undergone this treatment.

If a rewrite is what's needed to make your story great, then do it. And don't dread the rewrite. Think of it as spending more time with the characters you love, and just get started.


Chanelle said…
I'm on the same boat as you, HR. I'm going to rewrite the beginning of mine too.
GeminiWisdom said…
Interesting process. When I do revisions (which I'm in the middle of right now, too) I have to print out the whole thing, read thru it, and make changes on that copy. All rewriting gets done by hand (because I do the majority of my writing at my day job) and then I go in and make changes when I get home...or over the weekend.

Do you write on weekends, too? Are you going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year?
Rachael said…
I'd love to be able to print out the whole thing, but printer ink is outrageously expensive and the last time I mentioned printing Andra to my mom she said to set it aside for a few months and then do more revisions. I haven't asked since. I also can't think of a free way for me to get it all printed out.

I do write on weekends. I write more on weekends then I do during the week because of homework and school. Unless I'm going somewhere that weekend.

I do plan to participate in Nanowrimo this year, assuming I don't have like five WIP going at the same time. I was planning to do a JulNoWriMo for my birthday, but changed my mind since I already have four WIP going at once.
Andrea said…
Good luck with the rewrite. That's one area I wouldn't have the guts to go.

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