On my blog I started a writing tips series where guest authors share their writing process. I’ve shared mine on a couple of blogs already and on my own, so I thought I’d take some time out to talk about my rewriting process.
A lot of authors do rewrites. Frankly put, all of us do rewrites. Whether your start the process after your first draft or when a professional editor is working through your manuscript, you will find yourself at one point doing rewrites.
However, I’ve never done a full scale from the ground up rewrite. In 2012 the idea of rewriting one of my 80K manuscripts, left me weak-kneed. The novice I was wasn’t up to the task. Now fast forward to July 2017, three publishing contracts later, and I was rethinking my position with my latest manuscript.
You see, I’ve just completed my second self-edit on a manuscript for a paranormal romance and I wasn’t comfortable with it. I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong, the story hit all the points I wanted it to, but for some reason something just felt off. (Yep I’m one of those ‘all in her feels’ kind of writers *smile*).
Then I ‘stumbled’ on a writing quote on Pinterest that encouraged rewriting a story from the start to finish. Not certain sections you’re not happy with, not layering your writing, but full scale word-for-word rewriting. I thought, “Wow that’s bonkers and just what I need!” Since the manuscript is a novella I reckoned it’s a reasonable size for a first time rewrite of such scale.
Uh…yeah…I might have been a tad too enthusiastic *grin*
One thing I will say before I go into how I went about the rewrite is this: If you’re like me, someone who gets bored easily with your own stories in the editing process then expect to get bored in the rewriting process. You’re not going to make major plot changes (unless that’s your problem to begin with) but you are going to add depth to your characters and the story. You might change a couple of things around, cut out whole chapters but in the end your story will most likely remain the same. And that can cause boredom. So be prepared for that!
You can either print out your manuscript or open two windows on your laptop/computer. Then start from the beginning, Chapter One and start rewriting/recreating word for word. In some instances you might like the original text and that’s okay (at least to me it is). I had my second draft in a bigger window on my laptop and the rewrite document in a smaller window. That way I didn’t have to take my eyes off the screen as I went along. During this process I found that I wrote each sentence different from the original.
Also you’ll reformat sentences, switch phrases around, manipulate word choices, cut paragraphs because they became redundant, make dialogue changes, plot points might become different, story arcs could reveal flaws and get re-worked. While you’re doing this you’ll make fundamental changes that will make your story shine. Because you’re making deep changes you wouldn’t necessarily do when you’re just editing. During edits you sometimes let certain things slide or even miss them. With a rewrite, you’re recreating. It’s a completely different process and hard to let writing slide.
And it’s not easy. It’s not for the lazy writer. Not even for the one who gets bored easily *bug eyed* *points to self*
But if you feel like you’re missing something you can’t put your finger on or you want your story to evolve, or simply just want to bring out the best in a piece of writing you’re serious about…then do a rewrite.
A bit about Inge Saunders
Inge Saunders lives in a small town in South Africa‒Worcester. She fell in love with books when she started reading romance novels with her grandmother. Intrigued by the worlds books unlocked, it was inevitable she would take pen to paper. She holds an Honours degree in Community Development and Learning Support and loves to sink her teeth into the research part of a story.
When she’s not writing about that ‘inexplicable attraction’ she’s reading almost every sub-genre in romance out there, spending time with friends and family and taking hikes in her hometown’s National Karoo Park.
Inge’s been a member of ROSA (Romance writers’ Organization of South Africa) since 2012 and has two contemporary titles, Falling for Mr. Unexpected (2014) and Dance of Love (2015) published with Decadent Publishing, as well as her first Black Hills Wolves novella, The Wolf’s Choice (2017).
You can connect with Inge here:
Books by Inge Saunders: http://bit.ly/1defI54
Amazon: Kindle Store https://t.co/gipdx4OYiZ
*Also available everywhere eBooks are sold*