Rewriting (On Writing & Editing)

I think I have mentioned this before, but I hate the rewrite. It’s the result of my own laziness. I realize this now. I also have mentioned how the rewrite begins to feel like so much work, and that disagrees with my natural inclinations. I think a lot of people suffer from this laziness, where once is exciting, but two times a bore! I am going to actively start rejecting this failed thinking.

I realize I am holding on to bad material out of laziness. The concepts and characters are good, but the actual writing is often bad. Sometimes I am hitting the right point in the story line, but it ends up being more telling, then showing. It has taken me a long time to realize the importance of the rewriting, and I think again here I have to thank the pump pad, as I call it. It is teaching me that the fun of writing is generating new material, and that that material may not even reach final draft, but it fills you in your world more. But that is not necessarily stuff that will please the reader.

Every rewrite should get better as the contours of your work become clear. Character details and plot points will start to solidify. You get to keep the little juicy nuggets that you cultivated in the previous drafts, but you also get a second run at the sections, which are lackluster.

Like everything, it seems to come down to commitment and maturity. You have to be honest with yourself and see what’s not working in your draft. You have to allow your own sense as a reader to guide you in what’s good and bad in your own writing. I think I have been waiting for this great editor to enter my life, who can make sense of all my craziness, but I am realizing now that I am the one I have been waiting for! I can tell when my own writing goes off the road. I need to develop the maturity and work ethic to take the time and do it right.


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