Monday, December 2, 2013

Uh, What Rule Was I On Again? (Rewriting)

     Hello, again. I have returned, finally, from that sojourn into another medium last month. It was pretty useful, I think; and in any case I enjoyed it.

     This brings me to another thought on writing, namely, the process that comes afterward.

     When I was young and starting out in this trade, there were few things that seemed to me more ridiculous than rewriting. Editing made sense, since I was likely to make a few grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors. But to sit down, as my dad proposed, with a new, blank document and write up the whole thing all over again? It seemed ludicrous. I already went through all the work to write a story. In my mind, the next thing to do was publish.

     Fortunately, I didn't get my way. The story drafts I'd begun remained in the closet, while I worked with other things. I didn't forsake those drafts; I was just sitting on them until I could finally publish.

     Then, the time came when I thought I would do it. I pulled one of them drafts out of the closet, brushed it off and looked it over. And then it became apparent. It was bad. Awful, even. Things began to make sense then. My old draft was stinky, practically unsalvageable. To redeem it, I would have to pull off a complete overhaul of the plot, characters, everything. A rewrite. So, with much fear and trepidation, I began. And it turned out much better.

     Rewriting is an incredible thing. I've found that through it, wimpy, half-baked pieces of work can be transformed into stronger, more thoroughly cooked piece of art. Metaphorically speaking. Granted, for me that doesn't happen after I sit on a draft for a while and wait for newer, wilder, more exciting ideas to come.

     Every writer's system for writing is different, of course. But rewriting is one of the most indispensable tools in the toolbox. With it, you can rework old plotlines, invent new, more interesting characters, create grander, more incredible worlds, and make your story the absolute best it can be. (Thanks, Dad!)


  1. Your Welcome! Thank you for your hard work in creating great works of art!