1. ATKatrina
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    ATKatrina New Member

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    Rewrite strategies

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ATKatrina, Apr 27, 2008.

    I'm wide open on this one.

    As this appears to be unique to the individual, please indulge yourself and post whatever works for you. The greater the detail, the more I'll be able to learn about a process I'm essentially clueless about.

    I found one thread with "rewrite" in the title and I'm currently digesting that, but any additional information, insights and resources would be very helpful. Thanks!! --E
     
  2. Michael Davis
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    Michael Davis Member

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    For my first two books, I started the rewrite process immediately after I completed the last page. By the third novel, I learned it was better to set the story assign for 2 to 4 weeks, and work on another one. The gap in time allows you to greet the story fresh. The mind has a tendency to gloss over what its just seen. I find new ideas and new scenes surface easier and flaws pop out more readily when I've been away for a while.
     
  3. Mr Sci Fi
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    Mr Sci Fi Senior Member

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    After my rough draft I'll leave the story alone for a while. A lot of people like to wait a few months; I wait a few weeks. The process is different depending on the individual.

    I'll then print out the story and rewrite it from start to finish, word for word and sentence for sentence, using my rough draft as a guide only. At this point, I don't concern myself with much besides cutting a lot of the repition, tightening up the prose, and fixing any obvious faults. (Misspelling, Inconsistency, Anochronisms, etc...)

    At this point, I should be fairly certain at what's blatantly wrong with it. I'm still nowhere near ready to critique the piece for its more subtle flaws myself, so that's when I post it up for critique.

    From there, I'll move onto a third draft, working closely with what was suggested from the critiques.

    After that, I decide if it is publisible or merely an exercise. If it's an exercise, i'll file it away, but if it's publishible, I put it through a proofread and retype it from start to finish into manuscript format. This process is important to me, as it's the final draft, so I'll take my time typing it out, making any last minute changes I see fit.

    Finally, I'll proofread my manuscript and then send it out for rejection. After that, I usually go on an alcohol binge, question my life choices, spend a few days watching daytime TV, then I think of all the really crappy stories that have gotten published, and that motivates me to write some more.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry, i don't rewrite, only edit, when/where necessary, so can't help you on that...

    as for how i edit, i simply do a careful proofread after i've finished something, to find minor goofs and typos... then i just read it, as if i didn't write it, to see if anything jumps out at me that could be said better or needs clarification... and that's it...
     
  5. ATKatrina
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    ATKatrina New Member

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    You had me laughing at that last paragraph :)
    If you want, can you write or PM me about what manuscript format is?

    The first draft was completed 17 days ago. I took a week off from writing before I went to print the first draft, which has been sitting unlooked at for a week. The day before I printed, I looked at the rough draft long enough to blast through spell check and a little cleanup. Other than that, I haven't seen or touched the first draft.

    This past week I've studied "elements of style", and critically read Dan Brown's "Davinci Code" and Michner's "The Novel". I've been recording loads of words, insights and some of Michner's advice from "The Novel" into a voice recorder and playing it all back over and over in an attempt to re-wire my brain into some sort of rewrite machine. I'm printing up a bunch of rules, insights, things to remember, etc, and taping them all over the desk area. There'll be more of that today, but I'll be moving into rewrite within 48 hours, so any more insights are desperately welcome :)

    I started this book because there was a private investor offer for $10,000 into getting a first run of books printed. I'm considering self publishing, but I believe I need some marketing muscle and a good editor. I'll probably do separate posts for that info, but, of course, any suggestions or insights are desperately welcome. I'm on a very short time-frame here.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry to say, the chances of your book making back that $10k investment are slim to none... if non-fiction and on a subject that has a wide market in which you have some professional standing, the chances are a bit better, but still would take a very long time to make that much profit, if it ever does... with fiction, it's a much bleaker picture, since self-published books have to be sold at way above the usual cost of pb's by well-known authors...

    i edit aspiring writers' work all the time, so if you want to know how much work the ms will need to be print-ready, you can send me the first chapter and i'll tell you, plus give you suggestions for editing the rest of the book on your own, to save money... adding the cost of a for-pay editor to the printing costs will just make it take even longer to break even...

    and i'd think it over very carefully, before accepting that person's offer, if i were you... and be sure to consult a literary attorney before signing anything!

    love and hugs, maia
     
  7. ATKatrina
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    ATKatrina New Member

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    Thanks for the input! There'll be consultation for sure, but overall, the investor just wants the story out in the public. There's hope for revenue to put into a second run, but no talk of failure yet on that end.

    His entire business is founded on hooking up entrepreneurs and small businesses with larger money. His company is a non-profit so it taps into state and federal funds as well. He is paid a percentage of the money he attracts and the non-profit is strong, healthy and he has a wonderful reputation.

    He's in the business of accessing/attracting money, but he wants to invest his own money in this. He's very excited about bringing the book to market, so it's a non-typical arrangement. He wants my %age to be based on my time investment, not just the product itself. His personal friend was the press secretary for Mayor Nagin and she self published last year.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=nLBZsag5b5YC
    http://www.authorhouse.com/bookstore/ItemDetail~bookid~46391.aspx
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?ATH=Sally+Forman
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1886667/posts
    She was excited about the book concept as well and wants to help in any way she can.

    I don't know what any of this really means except that maybe this book was supposed to be finished and released so I'm moving forward with that.

    After I do the rewrite, I'll contact you and send what you request. Thanks for the offer!
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    so, is this a non-fiction book?...

    that sounds an awful lot like your 'time' means the time and energy you will put into marketing and selling the book, not just writing it... regardless of this guy's rep and history, it would be foolish to sign any kind of contract/agreement with him, before having a literary attorney of your own take a good look at it...

    that means the format your ms must be in, if you want anyone in the publishing business to look at it... here are the rules 'n regs:

    http://www.shunn.net/format/

    hugs, m
     
  9. ATKatrina
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    ATKatrina New Member

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    Yes, 317 pages of non-fiction. I had no idea I was that long-winded.
    I fully agree about consultation with a 3rd party literary attorney, and thanks for the link! :)
     
  10. Nodin
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    Nodin Member

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    I recently spoke with a self-published author who wanted me to help him sell his stock of books. He would not tell me how much he paid for the books, but I am guessing that he 'got took' for around $65,000.00. I really feel sorry for the fellow. The publishing company did an extremely poor job on the printing, and the fellow's manuscript was not even edited. The books are so bad that they cannot even be given away.

    Please please please be careful!
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    over 300 pages is fairly long for non-fiction... is this a true story type thing, self-help, how-to, or what?...

    have you researched the market for your particular genre?... checked the shelves in a major bookstore to see if anything like it is out there, and so on?...

    i'm using a very good printer in washington state [gorham printing] for my own books, would not go the pod or other vanity publishing methods route for reasons that don't usually apply to most... using a printer, instead of a publisher gives you complete control over what will be done with your ms, so you get exactly what you pay for... and a good printer will turn out a much better quality product than any of those other venues... so, you might want to give that some thought, when you get to that stage...

    as for cost, 1,000 copies done offset, will run around $8 per, 3,000 gets it down to less than $6... and at that cost, you can afford to sell them for a much more reasonable price than the usual $16-25 price the pods will set, that you'd have no say over... few total strangers will pay that much for a paperback by an unknown writer, even if it's a good how-to or whatever... it's your choice to make, of course, but i'd always go with a reliable printer, over any self-publishing venue...

    hugs, m
     
  12. ATKatrina
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    ATKatrina New Member

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    I believe 300 pages is far too long. I just wrote down everything I remembered and will probably cut a number of things out.

    It's a true story of an experience I had. There are a number of books on the subject, but I have yet to find anyone with a similar knowledge base writing about it. It appears to be an un-told story. Long story short I think it might be an untold story told from a completely unique perspective.

    I'll continue looking as I rewrite, but in addition to myself, I've had more than a couple people scouting and none of us has turned up anything remotely similar in content or perspective.

    Thanks for the heads-up on the printer vs publisher. Thanks for the printer name and the great info!
     
  13. Silver1
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    Silver1 Member

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    I don't know about novels -- I've given up trying to write them. My experience is pretty much limited to short stories. I'm not sure if you could call what I do rewriting either. If a story is so bad I need to redo the whole thing, I file it away for 'recycling'.

    Usually I just sit down with a notebook and let the internal editor go. I note glaring plot holes, places where the emotion doesn't feel right, and other noticeable errors. After I repair those I do the voice check (reading aloud), the highlighter check (I highlight adverbs, passive voice, and other personal weaknesses) and redundancy check.

    Usually after smoothing all these things out I have a pretty good story. Then I run it through Critique Circle, and find out how wrong I am. :p
     
  14. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    I always write my stories by hand first. Before typing them up, I go over my paper version with a red pen and mark anything that looks wrong. As I type, I correct the problems.

    Then I get someone to look at my first typed draft. I fix it up according to their suggestions.

    Then I wait a few days or weeks before returning. I read over the draft, mark any sections that look wrong (I often 'bold' them) and then either fix them on my own or call my sister or a friend over to look at them. We then decide together what it would be best to change the contraversial section to.

    Hope that helps.
     

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