For many writers, the rewrite is the time we get down to business. The rewrite comes after the first draft has been penned (or the second, or third draft). I tend only to do one rewrite, but over an extended period of time. Nanowrimo has taught me that I can write 50,000 words in a month. However, 50k words is barely a novel and writing it in a month results in something that is part junk and part crap in need of a revision.
I don’t say this to disparage my writing or anyone else’s for that matter. I say it to convey the need for the rewrite. Finishing the first draft is a great feeling of accomplishment. At the same time, it is that moment when a writer sighs and sits back in the chair with hands behind their head and feet up. Writing is hard work and it takes a bit of soul and energy to produce anything beyond the average ten-page essay. When a writer finishes that first draft it feels as if they have brought something to life. Albeit is a disjointed, plot-holed, and mediocre life.
So the rewrite is the writer’s chance to breathe real life into their work. It is the time when plot starts to emerge and characters start to feel alive. For instance, in my latest work: Atlas: Infinity Verge II, I have added at least three chapters, an epilogue, and I’ve gone through and given more life to individual characters. Of course, in the rewrite, I also tackle sentence structure, grammar, and order of appearance.
As genuine a feeling as writing a novel produces, there is some hardship in the rewrite. In a sense, it is a sort of editing process that forces the author to take a step back and really examine what they’ve written.
I bring this up because I am presently in the midst of a rewrite and this is the time when I struggle the most. I can handle someone else looking through the work and making it bleed (editing with a red pen), but to cut my own work up and re-arrange it, that is the hardest part.
The rewrite means having to ask questions that bring to bear my largest insecurities.
Is this any good?
Does anyone want to read this story?
Do my characters feel real enough?
What if I am not meant to be a writer?
There is a huge list of other questions I ask, but it ultimately comes down to readers and what they think. I’ll do the best I can and put out the best of my work. In the end, it will be the reader who decides if I answered the above questions. Until next time folks.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Author,