1. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    How long do you put your draft aside for before a rewrite?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cheeno, Sep 22, 2009.

    I believe lack of objectivity is a result of the short time writers put their drafts aside before an edit or rewrite. I also understand a writer's desire to see their work posted, or even submitted, but surely it's next to impossible to bring a work to its polished best without having the required level of objectivity gained from leaving it aside for a long enough period. So, how long do you leave your work aside?
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I'm not entirely convinced you need to put it aside. I mean, you need to be able to separate yourself from it, and if that means you take a few months off, then do that, but I suspect some people (like myself) are able to detach themselves from their writing rather more easily than that and begin to look at it objectively right away, or even during the writing itself. Putting it aside isn't something arbitrary, its about getting in the right headspace for making revisions, and different people will get there in different ways and in different periods of time. The key thing is that when you return to it, you don't get all sentimental about ripping apart your work so that you can give it the treatment it needs. Some people can do this after they finish the last word (though whether, at that point, they have the stamina is something else entirely), while others will never really be able to break away sufficiently.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I usually wait a few days before revising my work. During that time, I start and/or revise other stories.
     
  4. alice
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    alice New Member

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    i often just go and do something else for a while, like walking the dog or cooking, and when i come back to it i find i'm sufficiently detatched.

    I agree with arron89, i imagine it is different for each person though.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    anywhere from an hour on...
     
  6. -NM-
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    -NM- Active Member

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    I put mine aside for about 2 years before coming back to it.
     
  7. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I usually try and leave it a week or so, which is spent working on a new project.
     
  8. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    This.^

    I don't have a routine.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yup. I don't think there is a given period of time. I've recently taken out pieces to rewrite which were yellowed hard-copies printed with a dot matrix printer on the kind of paper that you have to tear the sides off of.

    You know, the strips on the side with the holes in them to feed the paper through the printer.

    Yeah, that kind.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you can also put it away for too long. If you have forgotten what your original intention was with each scene, you can't really fix it towards that, and may just end up making it into a completely different story in your edit.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's called pin feed continuous form paper. Worse yet was tractor feed (friction feed) rolls of thermal paper. After a few years, the printing would fade and the paper itself would turn blue, making the entire unpaginated crushed scroll unreadable.

    TI Silent 700 is still a cringeworthy phrase for me.
     
  12. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    I'm not so sure about that...

    A very famous author put two books into a box and left them in the basement for decades before taking them out for a re-write.

    The author was Stephen King, and the books were Pet Sematary and Dark Tower: The Gunslinger.
     

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