1. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Tips for rewriting stories?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by agentkirb, Nov 2, 2012.

    So I have a series of stories I've made, and I don't think any of them are novel sized. Probably like 50-70K words, so not short but not long either. I'm not really too interested in knowing how to make stories longer, because it seems easy enough to just add events. But I guess I was curious to hear general tips for rewriting stories. Like... do you just read a chapter and automatically come to the conclusion "hmm, this part could use more description, too much dialogue" or "there's a lot of telling here, I need to show more".
     
  2. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the UK the is 'I think it's Woman's Weekly' are doing 'Quick Reads' and, off the top of my head, they are somewhere around 50/70,000 word count.

    Not a writing tip - I know!
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    First, it's not "easy enough" just to add events. Second, I do my rewriting as I go - everything has to be pretty much settled when I finish each page/chapter - the only changes occur if my betas bring up something. But the process per page/chapter is pretty much as you say - reading it (out loud, usually) and seeing that this needs more description, there's too much narrative, that statement makes no sense, etc etc. and then working out the corrections.
     
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  4. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    I like the 2 steps forward, one step back approach. I write as far as I can, then i go through what i have written until i am happy. Then next time I continue writing and then go back, through what i have just written and what i went through before. On days I don't feel particularly creative I just go through the main body of work. Basically so i stay involved on some level. Then hey presto
     
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  5. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    Looking at your own writing and not seeing anything you want to change is most likely a bad thing. Get some fresh eyes on the projects and see what other people think about it. There is always something you can improve.
     
  6. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Hard copy edit first. What I mean by that, is print each chapter out (single space it to save paper) and go through with a pen, and mark out the stuff that's not needed, and repetitive Phrases. Once that's done, look and see what makes sense, and write notes to yourself how to fix it. If short words, then add subplots, and/or characterization needs to make the story stronger and get your word count.

    My first draft ended at 90.5k words. The second 96.1k. On the hard copy edit, it's down to 68-70k on the pace I'm keeping. That's another 10-20k of words that can be put into characterizing the book better, and allowing the reader to connect with who you find important. I've taking the time to introduce a character important to the end as other then a name, and a secondary character who'll be big in the third book on. There's been time to build upon the antagonist and his weakness (sexual obsession with Kate) in a way to make it real and give it 'punch.'

    I end up going line by line through, and things will stick out where you need to show more. If you're characters are entering a building somewhere new, then it might be a good thing to describe it. If you're action scene has about 40 words to it, you've probably told more then shown what's happened. But a lot of this is only "see able" in hard copy.


    These are ways to rewrite a novel, but what works for me might now for others, so find what works for you.
     
  7. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    I don't add stuff to pad a story out. I let the story tell itself, and when it's done, it's done. My rewrites almost always result in a shorter, tighter tale, because my tendency in writing is to slather on detail in the first draft. Editing, for me, means identifying the essence I'm trying to convey and eliminating the chaff.
     
  8. Rubyclaire
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    Rubyclaire Member

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    Just keep on reading the stories once or twice then definitely you will get some idea to add, or else tell the story to friends or relatives they will give an idea to rewrite. I use this techniques to rewrite the stories!!
     

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