Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Thinking of not rewriting anymore (1 Viewer)

Status
Not open for further replies.

LivingPoetintheFlesh

Senior Member
Do any of you guys ever feel like rewriting is a waste of time especially when you have done it three times already? Is it better to simply edit the original or draft of the piece itself? Even though I want to edit my second rewrite (as that is my best one) I feel that it is too much. What do you guys think?
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
No.
But, if you feel a specific piece has gone beyond the pale, dropping it entirely is perfectly legitimate.
You're talking about a piece you've finished aren't you? Most writers, in fact I'd say all writers, start projects they don't finish. That's normal. But you're talking specifically about rewriting. It has to be done.
 

BornForBurning

Senior Member
You're talking about a piece you've finished aren't you?
I mean, maybe? I'm just saying that if you've worked and worked and worked on a piece and it doesn't seem to be coalescing, there's nothing wrong about letting it go. As opposed to being stuck in editing hell for 600 years.

Edit: For clarity. I am 100% for rewriting. I was trying to say no, I don't feel like rewriting is a waste of time.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I mean, maybe? I'm just saying that if you've worked and worked and worked on a piece and it doesn't seem to be coalescing, there's nothing wrong about letting it go.
OK, perhaps we're at odds here. Yeah, if it's not working and not coming together, then perhaps it is better to let it go. I thought you meant not rewriting, as in 'not at all': 'Thinking of not rewriting anymore'. I know you said 'especially if' but that doesn't discount the possibility of taking the thread title literally.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
My suggestion is that you put your WIP in a trunk - keep it, don't throw it out - and move on to another project. There are always more stories to tell.

Don't follow the same process for your next project that you did with your WIP. The problem is often in the process, and almost never in the story. Recognize when something isn't working - analyze WHY it's failing - then change it for your next project.

It could also be that you were too ambitious with a first project. Try something with a simpler plot, or fewer characters... change the type of story along with your process and you will succeed. Success breeds confidence. Let that lift you up to handle greater complexity. Then, maybe return to your original project.

I promise you that time and experience will change your tactics, and lead to greater success.
 

robertn51

Friends of WF
I puzzled this. Because I think I never "rewrite" anything.

So that made me wonder, again, how utterly weird I must be. Another writer rewrites and I don't...

Shame on me! I'm doing it all wrong! Still! Again! Back in the corner with me! Turn around! How can I have any pudding if I don't eat my meat?

So, face to the corner and still avoiding meat, I plead with myself, "Self, dear dear self, why would you ever rewrite something?"

And, after a bit

I would rewrite if it were an assignment. Something I had to submit. If I were writing to a goal. Like a June Literary Maneuver or that wicked half-your-final-grade essay for Sociology 101.

(I still feel bad for the Sociology 101 professor there, standing tall and solemn by my desk, the last desk, the one with the student with the paper with the highest grade, handing me back the utter A+ crapola I'd written only the night before, "Would you consider changing your major? No? Too bad. Really...") (Hey, fiction is fiction wherever you find it.)​

Then, yes, if I needed to, I would rewrite the June Literary Maneuver.

But that thing I wrote (and revised) to satisfy the June Literary Maneuver would be new and different and would not be the rewrite of anything at all, but something entirely new.

The June Literary Maneuver, the container filled with a story, was rewritten, a couple of times. Until I found the story.

But the story finally stable within the June Literary Maneuver container, the story...?

... I revised, am revising, joyfully revising, "Water Wheel" (working title) [Genre: Sci-Fi; Color: Green; Emotion: Amusement/Laughter; Object: Clock; Symbol: Water; Word "Crunch"] went completely off the Writing Forum LM rails and rules and map and off out into the wilderness somewhere near a novella off the coast of Stockton and a three book series dealing with the new inland sea of Central California. Look for it in less than a hundred years. The sea, that is; guaranteed by century's end, the way we are going. The books? Well...

Rewrite assignments. Until assignment requirements are met.

Revise stories until you are in love, or agreeably break up. With last kisses, remembering you were once very much in love. And that counts for something. Everything, really.

What do you guys think?

I think you should revise your second rewrite. One, because you want to. And two, because it is your best. And your best is worth it all. And never too much.
 

JBF

Staff member
Board Moderator
Do any of you guys ever feel like rewriting is a waste of time especially when you have done it three times already? Is it better to simply edit the original or draft of the piece itself? Even though I want to edit my second rewrite (as that is my best one) I feel that it is too much. What do you guys think?

I have a pretty distinctive voice, I think. I also come up with some decent ideas.

Once in blue moon I get those in the same place at the same time. Until then I'm mostly just throwing things down to get an idea of the events. Often as not the voice and narrative camera settings I need to make it work don't become apparent until later, at which point I'll return to an extremely rough-cut draft with the finishing tools, and with any luck I'll have my A-game on standby.

Look at it like building a car. You need a strong frame to hold the powerplant. You need a good motor to move everything. You need a stylish outer body to catch buyers' eyes. Dependable electronics in the cabin so trying to charge your phone doesn't cause an electrical fire. Comfortable seats for those multi-hour long-range drives. An interior that's both durable and functional for its intended purpose. Safe enough to give its occupants an even chance at survival and intuitive enough to offset the potentially execrable abilities of an end user.

A car (and a work) doesn't get completed from the front bumper to the rear. It gets built one system at a time, tested constantly between processes, until one day you've gone from a stripped frame and a crated engine to a sharp-looking, sweet-handling, blow-your-hair-back and sink-your-ass-into-the-cushions-on-the-turns machine.

Rewriting isn't sunk time. It's testing. Sometimes tests result in failure, and a failure of creativity is just another chance to get it right.

You know...to keep on improving until the Pinto doesn't explode.
 

BornForBurning

Senior Member
I honestly wanted to throw out my novel but I stuck with it, I had some that were in the backburner that I wanted to finish but couldn't because I felt it just wasn't good enough.
The best advice I can give you at this stage is to just. Keep. Writing. Whether that is revising, editing, re-writing or drafting, keep practicing your craft. Draft, read, revise; if you find yourself hating every word that comes on the page, stick the project in a lonesome folder and try something else for a few weeks.
 

LivingPoetintheFlesh

Senior Member
I puzzled this. Because I think I never "rewrite" anything.

So that made me wonder, again, how utterly weird I must be. Another writer rewrites and I don't...

Shame on me! I'm doing it all wrong! Still! Again! Back in the corner with me! Turn around! How can I have any pudding if I don't eat my meat?

So, face to the corner and still avoiding meat, I plead with myself, "Self, dear dear self, why would you ever rewrite something?"

And, after a bit

I would rewrite if it were an assignment. Something I had to submit. If I were writing to a goal. Like a June Literary Maneuver or that wicked half-your-final-grade essay for Sociology 101.

(I still feel bad for the Sociology 101 professor there, standing tall and solemn by my desk, the last desk, the one with the student with the paper with the highest grade, handing me back the utter A+ crapola I'd written only the night before, "Would you consider changing your major? No? Too bad. Really...") (Hey, fiction is fiction wherever you find it.)​

Then, yes, if I needed to, I would rewrite the June Literary Maneuver.

But that thing I wrote (and revised) to satisfy the June Literary Maneuver would be new and different and would not be the rewrite of anything at all, but something entirely new.

The June Literary Maneuver, the container filled with a story, was rewritten, a couple of times. Until I found the story.

But the story finally stable within the June Literary Maneuver container, the story...?

... I revised, am revising, joyfully revising, "Water Wheel" (working title) [Genre: Sci-Fi; Color: Green; Emotion: Amusement/Laughter; Object: Clock; Symbol: Water; Word "Crunch"] went completely off the Writing Forum LM rails and rules and map and off out into the wilderness somewhere near a novella off the coast of Stockton and a three book series dealing with the new inland sea of Central California. Look for it in less than a hundred years. The sea, that is; guaranteed by century's end, the way we are going. The books? Well...

Rewrite assignments. Until assignment requirements are met.

Revise stories until you are in love, or agreeably break up. With last kisses, remembering you were once very much in love. And that counts for something. Everything, really.



I think you should revise your second rewrite. One, because you want to. And two, because it is your best. And your best is worth it all. And never too much.

I see. Thank you for your thoughts. I will take note of that.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
I rewrote heavily some of my stories (revisiting and rewriting these many months later). I suspect these will be published one day because of the feedback I received. The one I wrote that has zombies that was rewritten heavily that is in the workshop. But now I have a different method I am willing to try out. I like Shakespeare's approach and I am willing to try it. The book explains motivations quite clearly. When I read your story, I was wondering about the motivation of the character. Get the book if you need help (posted in the resource section of this website). You won't regret it. It has scholarship regarding how Shakespeare would write using the same motivation for all characters of his works. I am a rewriter. I hope to change my writing to fewer drafts and versions with this method or technique from shakespeare.
 

LivingPoetintheFlesh

Senior Member
I rewrote heavily some of my stories (revisiting and rewriting these many months later). I suspect these will be published one day because of the feedback I received. The one I wrote that has zombies that was rewritten heavily that is in the workshop. But now I have a different method I am willing to try out. I like Shakespeare's approach and I am willing to try it. The book explains motivations quite clearly. When I read your story, I was wondering about the motivation of the character. Get the book if you need help (posted in the resource section of this website). You won't regret it. It has scholarship regarding how Shakespeare would write using the same motivation for all characters of his works. I am a rewriter. I hope to change my writing to fewer drafts and versions with this method or technique from shakespeare.

Can you please give me the link to it? I can't seem to find it. I'll consider buying it.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Do any of you guys ever feel like rewriting is a waste of time especially when you have done it three times already? Is it better to simply edit the original or draft of the piece itself? Even though I want to edit my second rewrite (as that is my best one) I feel that it is too much. What do you guys think?
I won't rewrite at all, period ... at least from the standpoint of looking at a draft. If I ever have a contract arrive in the mail attached to a list of things to do, among them rewriting some section or another, then yes, I'll be on it. ;-)

That's not to say I don't do revisions to the first draft, but that's not the same thing as rewriting. That's proofreading and fixing technical issues and occasionally adjusting a sentence for clarity. Maybe add a paragraph or a short scene. Maybe delete one. Maybe move one. Fix a continuity gaff.

But to take a draft or a chapter and rewrite all that stuff? Absolutely not.

Can a beginning writer learn more about writing by rewriting? I don't have the answer to that. I know it wouldn't have helped me AT ALL. It might help someone else with their own unique skill set and circumstances. Possibly if the writing is chock full of deal-breaking mistakes, and the writer has already learned how to write without making them, they could go back and fix a broken work.

But if you're a reasonably effective writer already and you've told your story, I think rewriting is an utter waste of time. You'll wind up fiddling with stuff that doesn't improve the story for the reader, but only services a writer's paranoia. And at the same time, you're spinning your wheels to no good effect when you could be branching out to new material and growing as a writer.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
I was told to focus on a theme when they commented on my work. I have since bought two books that collect themes of short stories of both science fiction and literary short stories that have been published. Furthermore, I will be writing my fiction using the themes mentioned in these books. For me at least, a handy method of writing is to study themes. It's a decent way of beginning a story if facing the blank page (it is also an interesting subject you want to express). You know what you want to write about, expressing the themes in a different way. Some advocate writing plot through theme, such as screenwriters do. They say give each character a theme and that becomes an easy way to establish a goal and a different want. It's a different method altogether.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top