1. joeh1234
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    joeh1234 Active Member

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    The Re-Write

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by joeh1234, Jun 20, 2016.

    Hello All

    Even though I am along way off finishing first draft at the moment. I wanted to get a feel for what other people do when it comes to the re-write do people literally print out the MS, sit down on a fresh word document and start again a page at a time? I never did a re-write like this for my first novella (unpublished) so interested to see what other people do.

    thanks
    Joe

    Edit: I imagine people read the whole MS through again before re-writing and make notes etc. But do you then edit the existing or literally start fresh?
     
  2. christinacantwrite
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    christinacantwrite Member

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    I have never written (let alone re-written) a whole novel, but am currently re-writing half of one. After writing it first time round, the story simply ran out of steam and I realised pantsing it was not going to work. I'm a plotter, dammit! I had about 30,000 words, and had an ending in mind, but wasn't sure how to get there as the plot was a mess.

    I reread the work from the beginning, on Word (where I write), and every time a key plot point came up, I highlighted it and added a comment summarising it. Once that was done, I read through the comments, and (if this makes any sense at all), made bullet point notes on those comments in a separate document. Then, I expanded on all the plot points I wasn't 100% clear on (ie, what is this character's motivation, why does this happen etc. etc.). Then I roughly plotted the second part of the story, adapting/deleting/switching round what I already had for the first half as necessary. Then I started the re-write. So essentially, reducing the story to it's bare bones, then building it back up again.

    As for editing vs. starting afresh, I am somewhere in between. I am writing on a new document, but sometimes I have the original open at the same time, mostly for guidance with pacing.

    My re-write is still the same story as the original. It just has less plot-holes, and I have a clearer idea of where I'm going with it. The main characters are still the same too, although the supporting characters now have more fleshed out, realistic personalities.

    I know this isn't quite what you were after, and I have no idea if my method will result in a successful story (I'm sure I'll have to rewrite it again!) but I thought I'd share anyway.
     
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  3. joeh1234
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    joeh1234 Active Member

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    Hey thanks for your input, interesting to see what others do. From what I have read and videos I have watched with authors discussing the writing process 30k words seems to be the hurdle (equivalent to the 7 year itch in a relationship). And it is a case of pushing through it.
    Hope your story continues and you get it done :D
     
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  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I would never print an entire novel. Think of the trees! :eek:

    I work on the existing text, unless I need whole new chapters after feedback. I see no benefit in starting with a fresh blank page.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I copy and paste the document ( usually it's already separated into chapters so I copy and paste the whole folder ) and rename it second draft.
    I read over what I have - make notes in a separate document - especially concerning things that need to be correct ( dates, logic, plot points, duplicate information ) and then I open the new draft.
    If the first paragraph needs work what I do is copy and paste the paragraph so that I can work on the paragraph fresh but if I need to see immediately what I had
    previously wrote I can just scroll down. When I'm satisfied, I delete the old paragraph - that way even if I need to do this again ( third draft ) I still have my first draft untouched.
     
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  6. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    It depends on what's needed.
    I usually rewrite chapters rather than the whole thing and edit what needs done.
    No use in rewriting everything if certain parts are good.
     
  7. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    Edit the existing, though at times it can go on such a different tangent that I may as well have a blank sheet for all the use the first draft is.

    I'm a fairly plan-heavy writer, but even so I'll sometimes hit a stage where I find it'd be really convenient to have a character around to do some job or come up with a motif I like halfway through. When that happens, I tend to just write from that point as if the character/motif/whatever had always existed, and then the second draft becomes about making that true.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Trees notwithstanding, I print out the first draft and mark it up in colored pencil - red for outright errors, blue for other comments. I also read it aloud, which forces me to go more slowly and therefore miss less. Then I go back and make the changes to my first draft document, which I save as "Second Draft". All other read-throughs are done on the PC.
     
  9. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    I edit the existing manuscript. Save, save, save. You want lots of back up copies.
     
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  10. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    I wish the technology existed to facilitate my desire to hug your post.
     
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