Monday, March 19, 2012

Rewriting is Hard.

Okay, so for a while, I've been procrastinating. I've been stalling and making up excuses for myself so I don't have to work on rewriting my sequel. It's not a full rewrite. The last time I wrote in it was November and I had only 33,000 words.

Still. That's like, a third of the book.

I ended up convincing myself that rewriting would be easier than drafting. But, I was in for a really big surprise.

Turns out, rewriting feels twenty times harder than drafting, thank you very much.

You'd think that since you already know what happens and about how to write the scene, you should be okay. But what's hard is writing something you've already written differently.

Well, I stopped procrastinating last week after we got home from the cruise. And despite how hard it was, I'm so glad I did it. It needed to be fixed because it was going totally in the wrong direction. And now, I've got 21,000 words of the new version. Just 12,000 more to go, and I'll be good!

Now I have to give a lot of credit to my really awesome critique partner. She's been working really hard, editing The Trials and as I'm reading over book 1, I'm getting so many new ideas!! (And if you can't tell, I'm getting really excited, too :) )

So, if you're willing to take advice from a fifteen-year-old, here it is: stop procrastinating today. Even if it's just for the day. Good luck!

What do you guys think about rewriting? Is it a lot harder than drafting for you?

Okay, well I really better get to work now! Have an awesome day!

--Jess

P.S.
I've been thinking of starting up a Music Monday thing on my blog since music is such a huge part of my writing. I don't know. What do you think? Good or bad idea?

16 comments:

Tobi Summers said...

I completely agree with you about how much more difficult rewriting is than you ever expect it to be. I finished my first draft and went back to "fix some continuity issues," which turned into rewriting the entire thing. That was two months ago, and I'm maybe 25% done with the rewrite. It's like I just don't want to have to write more for it. But you're also right that I need to stop procrastinating and just get into it again. Good for you for being able to do that!

Sarah said...

Good luck with your re-write! I'm still drafting my WIP so I can't even begin to think about editing/re-writing. Although, I do what they tell you not to do... I edit as I draft. I can't help it! When I'm staring at my screen, not able to type anything new, the temptation to scroll back through what I've already written is too great!

Also, the Music Monday thing sounds great! I've been doing a few music posts on my blog and I'd love to see what music inspires other writers!

T. Z. Wallace said...

Aw, thanks for the kind words. I am glad that I can be of help. Writers need other writers. I believe that more and more every day.

I am elbow deep in re-writes, too, and I need to get some chapters to you soon for your input!

You're right, it is SO hard to try to reword, restructure, reformulate things that sounded just fine in your head the first time around. I think that rewrites are where "real" authors are separated from people who just like the idea of being authors.

Everyone has ideas and stories rattling around in their head (or, at least, I can't imagine NOT having them rattling around), but not everyone is able to get them down on paper, and work and re-work them. Not everyone has the ferocity it takes to shape the words, the characters, and the story.

I believe that you have that ability, that spark.

Cortney Pearson said...

It depends, but sometimes rewriting is exactly what my book needs! If there's a scene that needs something, but I can't quite figure out what, sometimes I divide the screen and just start over, and it's interesting what else my brain comes up with while rewriting dialogue instead of just reading over it again, if that makes sense!

Carrie-Anne said...

I really enjoyed editing, rewriting, revising, and polishing my superlong Russian historical novel after almost 10 years away. It was in many ways like writing it all over again, since I wrote so many new scenes and sections and threw out a lot of the stuff from my first period of working on it in 1993. I also finally got it down to just about the perfect length for the type of novel it is, even though some modern people would claim it's still way too long in spite of having been deliberately planned and plotted as a very long saga.

Samantha said...

You are absolutely right! That being said, it is much easier said than done to stop procrastinating. So...many...temptations... ;D

I think music monday would be awesome! As a former choir nerd, I'm a music lover myself!

Have a great week!

Liz said...

I've always prefered rewriting to the first draft. I like to have something to start with and then tinker.

Of course, that means that nothing gets done...

Rena said...

Yes, rewriting is painful. I think the part that hurts the most about rewriting something is that since it's still a first pass but I already know the plot, I find myself thinking things like "OMG do I know any other verbs besides to be??? How am I ever going to be a real writer if my go to choice is the wrong one?"

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I need to get back into editing. Don't know why I lost steam, because I enjoy it.

Angela Brown said...

Ref: taking advice from a 15 year old.

Heck yeah when that 15 year old is a dreamer with a mind to do more than just talk about it but also BE about reaching her goals.

Also, if you have a playlist that you feel could add some enjoyment to your blog, then having a Music Monday could be a good thing. It'll also give followers a peep into your musical tastes.

Emily R. King said...

I'm in the middle of a rewrite, too. I feel your pain! I'm taking breaks instead of plowing through it to make sure I'm on the right track. I'm also sending it to my CP's to get their opinions before moving on. It's making a world of difference!

Good luck with yours, Jess!

Krista McLaughlin said...

Rewriting sucks - I don't like doing it. But I'm glad that you are having luck with it! :)

Kelley said...

I like rewriting. But I like the drafting process too. The thing I find most difficult with writing is after you've polished one MS until it shines, moving on to the next shiny idea and starting from the first draft is tough. You forget that your shiny MS once was pretty crap too :)

JEFritz said...

I both love rewriting and hate it. Well, I love it at first, but then I start rewriting the rewrites and it drives me crazy. But you're totally right about procrastination. It's even worse than overusing the word "that".

McKenzie McCann said...

And to think, my blog topic for today was how I'm procrastinating on my book report.

Oh, to procrastinate or not procrastinate? That is the question.

Good luck with revisions. You'll feel so accomplished when it's done.

Julia King said...

Rewrites are terrible. But absolutely necessary sometimes. For my book that's on sub I did a total overhaul. Meaning I changed the age of the characters from 25 to 17. It was a challenge but was well worth it. The book is far better now and has opened doors for me. Good luck! You can do it.

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