Rewrite or Revise? That is the Question

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Rewrite or Revise? That is the Question

Rewrite or revise? What is the difference between the two? Rewrite is a drastic overhaul of your work. Tearing what you wrote apart and more or less starting from scratch. Something no writer wants to do, but sometimes you don’t have a choice in the matter. Not if you care about your story and your future readers. Revise involves less drastic measures. Tweaking a scene here, rewording another further along. Correcting confusing points. We constantly revise our work when we read back through it. Rewriting and revising are things writers have to deal with whether we want to or not.

So, which camp can I be found in right now? Definitely revising, but I do have one section that needs a major rewrite. There I was, cruising along with the edits for my current wip. Occasionally posting excerpts in Writers World for critiques and comments. One excerpt I posted has turned into a problem child. It’s an important scene, but the way it currently reads, it is confusing. If I hadn’t of posted it, I would have left it alone. But thanks to Colleen Aune Moore, she pointed out what was wrong. Never dismiss comments and critiques made by others, since these are things a reader will catch and point out in a review. Study what is wrong, ask questions if you don’t understand the comment and work to correct the problem.

My first step is taking the comments made about the excerpt and saving them to a word doc. Next I copy and pasted the troubled section into another doc, saved that and printed both documents out. To insure I don’t make things worse, I printed out the sections before and after, to keep things consistent. I have plenty of pens and notepads to help with this rewrite, so the next step will be reading through the offending section and see how I can salvage it. I know this won’t be easy, but in the end my story will be better for it. My next step is taking each section of the scene, writing it out, then go back through the comments made, and write it anew. I suspect I will end up doing this several times before the scene makes sense. I will curse myself, doubt myself, and feel tempted to throw things at the wall, but I will not stop. I am a writer and accept the responsibility of my chosen path. Never surrender!

Another work of mine has been rewritten four times. The rewrites I did were based on comments I received from a writing course I took through Writer’s Digest. Now I’m in the revising and editing stage of that trilogy with a possible fourth book in the offing. I went through a lot of notebook paper for that, enough to fill a box that used to hold ten reams of printer paper. Yes, I am a pack rat when it comes to my writing. The moment I throw something out, I end up needed it later down the line. Now I save on paper by using my laptop and dating the rewrites and revisions. They get saved into folders on the hard drive and backed up on two flash drives.

Even with what I have to do, I continue with my editing, removing descriptions and words that interrupt the flow of the story. Making minor tweaks here and there. When I was first writing this, at the end of each day I would read through what I wrote, making changes. I rarely let it sit, since that’s not my style. Once I finished the first draft, I did let it sit for a few months, working on other things, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking about my first draft. When I returned to start the major editing, I looked at it with fresh eyes. I spotted a number of points that needed to be corrected, but knew I had a long way to go.

Everything I’m learning from revising my current wip, I apply to my earlier works and future work. With the lessons from Writers World and Writers World Boot Camp, I see great improvement, although Icontine to have problme with theuse of commas. I suspect that will be a continuing battle for me.

May the words ever flow!

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Writing Quotes — Stephen King

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10 More Handy Writing Tips That I Use Regularly – Part 2

Don Massenzio's Blog

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  • Create a space in your home especially for writing. This way you have an oasis and you can also send a message that, when you are in this space, you are writing. Of course, you should also be prepared to write wherever you happen to be.

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  • Proofread everything at least three times before submitting your work for publication.

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  • Start a blog. Use it to talk about your own writing process, share your ideas and experiences, or publish your work to a reading audience. Use this valuable community of authors to learn and teach in a cooperative atmosphere.

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  • Use writing exercises and writing prompts to improve your skills, strengthen your talent, and explore different genres, styles, and techniques.

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  • Let go of your inner editor. When you sit down to write a draft, refrain from proofreading until that draft is complete.

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  • Embrace your failures. Allow yourself to write poorly, to write a…

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10 Handy Writing Tips That I Use Regularly – Part 1

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Write every chance you get. Write every day if you can. You should be thinking about writing or actually writing whenever you can. Reading is so important. You should read every chance you…

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First time writers: Ready, Set, Bleed!

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First time writers: Ready, Set, Bleed!

The day has arrived, you tell yourself. This is the day I’m going to become an author! No more working at McDonald’s or that dead-end office job. I’ve got a best seller in my mind that will take the world by storm! So what do you do first?

Don’t give up your regular job unless you are able to afford it. If you have a spouse that earns a decent income and you’re working just to have something to do, talk it over with them. You may have a great story to tell, but wanting to rely on that one idea  to earn money is the quickest path to ruin. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a book. You will become annoyed, frustrated, and angry. Many times you will question your decision to become a writer. You will feel alone and lonely. If the words aren’t flowing you may feel depressed. All this is normal.

My first suggestion is find a quiet place to write. Preferably a home office or a bedroom where you can shut the door and ignore the rest of the world while you write. If that isn’t possible find a quiet corner in a room or go to the library to write.

If possible, set a specific time for writing each day. Let people know you don’t want to be disturbed during this time, unless there’s an emergency. Keep distractions to the minimum, background music is fine. Don’t open your browser unless you really need to look something up for what you are writing.

Set a reasonable goal each day. Two hundred words, five hundred words, a thousand words. Select something you feel comfortable doing. Going over the limit you set is fine.

 Write every day. It doesn’t matter if what you write has nothing to do with your book. Get into the habit of sitting down and putting something on paper or the computer.

Join a writing group, Being an author is a lonely life, and interacting with others who are of like mind will help tremendously. Check your local library or college for writing groups, also check Facebook. There are a number of good groups on FB. Writers World is a great one for critiques of your work and the lessons on writing you can find there.

Be ready for frustration when you are writing. Sometimes the words sputter and fail, making no sense whatsoever. Maybe what you wrote is full of clichés and needs to be deleted or the page torn out and crumpled into a ball for the cat to play with. People may say you’re wasting your time, that no one will want to read what you write. Don’t listen to them. Follow your heart. Believe in yourself. There will be times when you think “Why the heck did I decide to write a book in the first place? What makes me think anyone will care about what I write?” Having these doubts are normal. Don’t dwell on them, sit there, and put something on the page.

Read! I can’t stress this enough! Read books in the genre you are writing, read books outside of the genre. Read history and science books. Read books on writing, editing, and revisions. Read the classics. Study their style, the characters, and the dialogue.

When you aren’t writing — out and about at work or shopping or with friends; observe how people act, how they dress, and how they talk. Take note of the weather or the way the sky looks at sunset or sunrise. Listen to the various sounds in the world around you. All of this can be incorporated into what you write.

Pay attention to your own feelings in various situations. Write them down in a notebook, along with other observations you make. It doesn’t have to be a journal or a diary, merely notes on emotions, how you felt when you were angry, sad, happy, excited. If you need to write an emotional scene, think about how you felt with that emotion and transfer it to the characters involved.

When you write you’re putting yourself out there for the world to see. Every word, every sentence is a part of you. The characters are drawn from the people you know, have met in passing, or seen at the local coffee shop. As a writer, you live in two worlds — one you create for your characters and the one you live in every day. You cross the line between these worlds each time you put pen to paper, bringing the real world to your created world.

Now get to it! Let the words flow!

May the words ever flow!

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Writing Quotes — Phyllis A. Whitney

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Studying the Masters – Part 15 – P.D. James

Don Massenzio's Blog

1-pdjamesPhyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL was born on August 3, 1920. She was better known as P. D. James and was an English crime writer. She rose to fame for her series of detective novels starring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh

1-pdjamesbooksJames was born in Oxford, the daughter of Sidney James, a tax inspector, and educated at the British School in Ludlow and Cambridge High School for Girls. She had to leave school at the age of sixteen to work because her family did not have much money and her father did not believe in higher education for girls. She worked in a tax office for three years and later found a job as an assistant stage manager for a theater group. In 1941, she married Ernest Connor Bantry White, an army doctor. They had two daughters, Clare and Jane.

When White returned from the…

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