11. Rewriting

Page 1 of 8 | Writing is Rewriting | Basic Approach | Self-Evaluation | More Self-Evaluation | Be Ruthless | Feedback |
| Using Criticism | Put It on the Line |

Writing is Rewriting
You might as well get used to the idea.

But it's not as bad as it sounds, because in the rewrite phase, you're working just as creatively as you are in the first draft. Sometimes more so.

The fact is that stories rarely come out right the first time. Occasionally sentences do. Or paragraphs. But whole stories? Almost never. Maybe the beginning isn't right — or the ending. Or the middle. Maybe the whole blasted thing isn't working, and it's because there are a lot of things wrong. Maybe you have all the pieces, but your aliens sound like humans, and your humans sound like computers. Maybe your plot doesn't make sense, because you have three major coincidences, and your ending feels contrived.

Welcome to the club. What you have to do is deal with it one step at a time. Want to see what one of my pages looked like after I was done marking it up? (This was a page from a book that had already been published, and I was revising it for a new edition. I found quite a lot to change!)

more info
Edited Manuscript

Rewriting is simply part of the process. And in many ways it's an easier stage, because you already have something in front of you to work with. That can be a lot less intimidating than the blank page or screen.

 
 

Course content copyright © 2005 Jeffrey A. Carver
May not be reproduced without permission of the author.
Visit the Science Fiction Worlds of Jeffrey A. Carver.