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  1. Whitepaws

    Whitepaws Member

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    Rewriting/revising—making it fun?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Whitepaws, Jan 10, 2020.

    I’m at that stage where I’m revision my novel. I did all the reviewing, know what I have to tackle and most of it will be revised in a big way (lots of structural changes).

    But I feel like I have a massive mountain to climb and I’m procrastinating like hell to start it up. Feels like work. But, I am desperate to finish it and send it to a Beta reader.

    Any ideas on approaching it as though it were fun? Or at least not to see it as work?
     
  2. Whitepaws

    Whitepaws Member

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    PS - I had enrolled in a course which I thought would help me edit it, but the course turned out to be a dud. So, I’m weary of courses at the moment.
     
  3. Madman

    Madman Senior Member

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    It is a massive mountain, which is why it is worth climbing. Imagine the relief once you're finished. The burden off your shoulders as you're standing at the top, observing a horizon of reviews before you.

    I have revised and changed the first chapter of my book some thirty times now, I am still not fully satisfied. It has been fun every revision, because it changed something, brought it to better life, improved it, made it more real. From a bare skeleton I made life. Think of it like that maybe? That with every revision you're making it more living. Not fun perhaps, but satisfying.
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Just do it in chunks and reward yourself with a treat of your choice after each chunk - also theres not a lot of point in going over and over it before its beta read... make the alterations you've already identified and the push it out to readers... you'll be making more changes based on their feedback anyway
     
    peachalulu and ArikaT like this.
  5. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    It is work, but worth it. Just put your editor's cap on, dive in and do it.

    Do you know how few writers reach your happy state? You actually got to the finish line of the first draft and the only thing that stands between your being a writer and becoming an author is the editing!
     
  6. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Rewriting and revision is where the real magic begins. It's great to get your story down, but now is the part where you bring it to life. My advice is to not tie yourself down to the words you've written and allow the story to really take center stage.

    I'm a big fan of the blank page, rewriting what I know but doing it better and realizing what's there is hopefully a solid foundation. The good stuff sticks. The things you forget probably were just in the way. I understand no one wants to restart a novel after the first draft is down. But I've opened a new doc and rewritten my first 50 pages several times. I couldn't have done this working through the draft. And it wouldn't have come out as good as I think it has.

    So, if you reach a chapter or a section that seems like an overwhelming mess of words, try rewriting that without turning back to the draft. This really has helped me more than anything else when it comes to revision. I'm currently fixing up my novel. This has been my approach. It's not easy because you do end up killing so many of those darlings, but I think you end up with a better story.

    Just something you might want to try if you're really feeling stuck or overwhelmed.
     
  7. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I found the color highlighting tool to be helpful. I use Libre office and I copy and pasted my first draft several times to make sure I didn't alter the only draft and used the color highlighters to decide what scenes I'd be keeping, shortening, moving, expanding, ditching, what scenes needed to be reworked, and what info had been duplicated. It was quite useful.
    I read the draft to explore the theme, to make note of plot holes, dragging scenes, to see if the subplots worked, if the side characters made sense, and since word count was my biggest problem I had to work enormously hard at cutting out everything that wasn't essential.
    I'm working on my second draft now. It's a huge undertaking to edit & rewrite but work at it as someone said in stages.
    I had to resolve several issues before I started and even yesterday I had to decide to ditch two chapter rather than write them as I constantly have to keep a handle on my word count.
    The only fun thing about it is I can see is it's becoming a much better novel than what I started with. Which is more satisfying then fun.
     

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