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When do you make the call to rewrite? What's been the tipping point for you? (1 Viewer)

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ktee

Senior Member
I have the narrative set down for the first few chapters of my book. But no matter how many times I edit or tweak the chapters themselves it's not working. The other chapters afterwards are fine, it's just the first few that feel wrong and muddy.

There's a thread up similar to this but I want more general advice about when to rewrite(http://www.writingforums.com/writin...ning-rewrite-plot-character-merging-tips.html)


I'm seeking comments from other writers about their own experience with this situation.

What has been the tipping point that has made you rewrite?

Have you ever found that editing just pushes you further down the spiral?

Is it better to seek feedback from other writers before you make the decision to rewrite?

How did you approach the rewrite?

How often have you found the need to rewrite per book?


Any other comments/experiences welcome.
Thanks in advance.
 

sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
Here are my answers:

1: People having negative responses to my work (but that was more in the beginning).

2: Yes

3: Sometimes

4: I usually return to the first chapter

5: It depends how good or bad my story is

I hope this helps.
 
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Nee

Senior Member
I edit, revise, and edit and revise many times; and am likely to rewrite whole sections without a second thought—what do I care…it’s all about making the story as good as I can. Besides, they say all writing is rewriting, after all.
 

ktee

Senior Member
@ Nee, it's comforting to know this is a normal thing; I have so much self doubt when I write.
 

AgentZero

Senior Member
I have the narrative set down for the first few chapters of my book. But no matter how many times I edit or tweak the chapters themselves it's not working. The other chapters afterwards are fine, it's just the first few that feel wrong and muddy.

There's a thread up similar to this but I want more general advice about when to rewrite(http://www.writingforums.com/writin...ning-rewrite-plot-character-merging-tips.html)


I'm seeking comments from other writers about their own experience with this situation.

What has been the tipping point that has made you rewrite?

Have you ever found that editing just pushes you further down the spiral?

Is it better to seek feedback from other writers before you make the decision to rewrite?

How did you approach the rewrite?

How often have you found the need to rewrite per book?


Any other comments/experiences welcome.
Thanks in advance.

1. My tipping point is usually when I don't see things lining up right.
2. Not really.
3. I wouldn't know, seeing as I have never asked. When I write something it's MINE. Therefore it is my decision to call.
4. I usually try not to rewrite the entire thing unless I am in early development. Otherwise I try to just fix the chapter.
5. I have to re-write a lot. The book I'm currently working on has been revised three times now.
 

Nee

Senior Member
@ Nee, it's comforting to know this is a normal thing; I have so much self doubt when I write.

This is very common. But, a little dangerous at times…no really! I have rewrote and make so many variations on the theme/plot/character motivation and wording, of three of my novels that I completely killed any hope of ever finishing them. Now I can’t even look at a single page of them without getting all twitchy and moody and feeling as if I need to close myself off from the world for a few days.

So, it’s probably better—at least loosely—to have some kind of map or, out-line, of where you think your story wants to go. Then you can roughly figure out how many scenes each story element will take, so you can write out the story that way. Then after you got all the scenes written then you can decide how to stitch them all together.
 

shadowwalker

WF Veterans
What has been the tipping point that has made you rewrite?

When what I've just written doesn't sound right, doesn't flow, doesn't really express what I want to say.

Have you ever found that editing just pushes you further down the spiral?

No. I may not be completely satisfied with the edit, but I accepted a long time ago that nobody's writing is ever perfect.

Is it better to seek feedback from other writers before you make the decision to rewrite?

I like my betas to read my stuff as it's written, but I decide what advice to take.

How did you approach the rewrite?

I rewrite/edit as I go, so there's not much "approach" to it. I read everything out loud, and if the sentence or paragraph doesn't flow properly, I go back and rethink it. That's it.

How often have you found the need to rewrite per book?

If I don't get something right the first time, it may take 2-3 rewrites before I say "enough already!" If I can't "get it right" by that time, I know I'm being too picky.
 

Freakconformist

Senior Member
Typically, if I leave a story alone for a few months, when I re-read it I realize that it's corny, common, and unexceptional. Though this happens less and less as I grow more mature myself; there are few stories that I don't feel compelled to tweak after a while. I'm always striving to make the story into something like the books I commonly pick up at the library. If the plot summary wouldn't catch my attention on the back of a paper back, then why work at it at all?

There is one particular story I have that has gone through about four different revisions in the last 10 years. The basic premise has remained, but have changed the settings and the plot several times. Then just when I find a plot I feel comfortable with I find a summary on the back of a paper back that reads the exact same plot back to me. I spent so much time dawdling, that someone else did "my story" and better. This is part of the reason I decided to take my writing more seriously, if that person can make an international best seller out of "my story", then so can I.
 

Morkonan

WF Veterans
...I'm seeking comments from other writers about their own experience with this situation.

What has been the tipping point that has made you rewrite?


"This sucks."
That's the most common warning that I get. Otherwise, it's "This new awesome idea must be included and I have to shoehorn it in by ripping everything to shreds, forsaking the shoehorn for a shovel!"

Have you ever found that editing just pushes you further down the spiral?

No. There's no spiral. Editing hopefully means I already know where I'm going, spiral free.Otherwise, why I am editing?
Is it better to seek feedback from other writers before you make the decision to rewrite?

It's my bus. I'm driving it. When I want to give someone else the keys, I'll let them know. :D IOW - I don't include "feedback" concerning re-writes - Either its my story or it isn't. The time for me to get feedback is when I'm working on "mechanics", not content.
How did you approach the rewrite?

"This has to be done in order to save lives, restore our culture to its former glory, rescue the princess, attain the Tri-Force and defeat Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada!" What has to be done is what is done. IMO, each individual work would need its own "approach."

How often have you found the need to rewrite per book?

I'm not quite sure how to answer that, as I haven't ever rewritten a whole book. I've rewritten substantial portions, but I sincerely hope I won't be so dull as to have failed to have noticed an entire finished book needs a complete rewrite. Sure, I know it happens to the best authors and I'm certainly not the best, by a long-shot. But, knowing my own habits, I think I can say that it won't happen to me. (Fingers crossed) I'd see the need long before I got past the last chapter. Now, while I may be able to see that hairpin turn coming a mile away and know that I'm going to crash if I don't do something, that doesn't mean I'll know what to do... :D
 
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