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DTHunter123
03-24-2012, 06:18 PM
When you go over your story/novel, do you rewrite it completely differently or just check spelling and grammar?


Also what would class as a rewrite to an edit?

amschilling
03-24-2012, 06:23 PM
It depends on the book, but usually my second pass through is a rewrite. Later passes are edits.

I see a rewrite as changing the story, scenes, etc. and an edit as grammer and language changes (working on the flow of the language and mechanics, and cutting unneeded words).

SRHowen
03-24-2012, 06:37 PM
This is always a huge debate. Some people like to say they never do rewrites, so call them editorial passes, others call each pass through a draft, and others call all of it rewrites.

I see a rewrite as being a total overhaul of the story, something went wrong and you start again with the same story idea, but everything is changed as far as plot, structure etc.

Edits are the changes you make to the story to make it say what you want. Getting rid of pet words, and weak prose, fixing things that bring a working story to fruition.

What you call it doesn't really matter, as no one but you is going to care how many drafts, editorial passes, or rewrites it took to get to the final draft.

totopink
03-24-2012, 06:37 PM
I think a good edit for me is bits of both. I'm usually quite lazy with sentence structure when I'm in the swing of writing so sometimes it's necessary to fix some up. When I get to the end of a chapter I do a run through of checking grammar etc.

WackAMole
03-24-2012, 06:42 PM
I think a good edit for me is bits of both. I'm usually quite lazy with sentence structure when I'm in the swing of writing so sometimes it's necessary to fix some up. When I get to the end of a chapter I do a run through of checking grammar etc.


^ That's what I do also. My current project is the one nearest and dearest to my heart.

When I first started writing it, it was a completely different story.

I think a rewrite is something that entirely changes the structure of the novel. Plot changes, character changes etc. Anything less than that, is an edit.

Buffysquirrel
03-24-2012, 06:59 PM
I'm definitely engaged in a rewrite at the moment. Scenes are being removed, or changing substantially, one character's being killed who previously survived, and I'm trying to move the book closer in tone to other, later, books. Spelling and grammar don't really come into it.

Bennyjayruss
03-24-2012, 07:06 PM
I think re-writing is more of the changing of importing things such as characters, plot, setting and outcomes whereas editing can range from spell-checking to even changing whole paragraphs.

HoneyBadger
03-24-2012, 07:07 PM
I'm in the first pass of a modified one-pass revision (http://hollylisle.com/one-pass-manuscript-revision-from-first-draft-to-last-in-one-cycle/).

First, I do edit as I write, for grammar, spelling, etc. Little plot things I add as I write, but I don't kill myself editing, though I try to get as much right the first time around.

Then I printed it, and made notes (in red, because it's motivating) as Holly says.

Then I either c&p the original chapter and line edit, or rewrite passages that are a hot mess.

When my brain is melty, I just do a search for extra, crappy words: that, was, were, etc.

Once I finish doing this and polishing to the end, I'll do one more pass using Maryn's little smash-edit list (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7046407&postcount=9), and tweak a few words, but no major plot or character revisions.

THEN it'll go to betas and I'll ignore it for a bit. (I started revising immediately, like, literally minutes after finishing the first draft, but this doesn't work for everyone.) Once I get word back from betas, I'll tweak things that are common hang-ups, and do a final once over, then it's off to agents.

I started writing this on Janurary 19th of this year and it should be ready to query by the end of April. I have only done like 3 loads of laundry in that time, though, so, you know. It's okay to pace yourself.

Toothpaste
03-24-2012, 07:40 PM
I tend to edit more than re-write. Going through the MS and changing little things here and there within the already written work. But there inevitably comes a section where I need to re-write the entire scene to make it more effective. So I guess I do a bit of both, but I've never totally rewritten an entire MS before. But never say never right? :)

gothicangel
03-24-2012, 08:02 PM
Somewhere in between. Editing the parts that are working, rewriting the weak stuff.

And another vote for Holly Lisle's One Pass Revision.

Susan Littlefield
03-24-2012, 08:09 PM
When you go over your story/novel, do you rewrite it completely differently or just check spelling and grammar?


Also what would class as a rewrite to an edit?

I use spell and grammar check for basics only, but I never rely on it. It does not catch everything, and it is often incorrect. Once I'm done, I print the manuscript out and go through it page by page making corrections. If a part needs to be changed, I mark that as well. Once done, I go back to the computer and start making those chances. Sometimes I do this three or four times. Then, I leave it alone.

A rewrite is where you add in new characters or subplots, taking things out, etc. etc. An edit is the process described above where you make sure it shines.

Layla Nahar
03-24-2012, 08:20 PM
I'd consider it an editorial check if the major storyline(s) stayed the same, even if your second pass required, say, adding descriptive passages or exposition/backstory & such like. I'd say if you're removing or adding characters, or changing the conflict(s) and such like, that's a re-write or new version. Some might call what I call a new version a second draft.

Dreity
03-24-2012, 08:22 PM
This is subject to change considering I haven't started it yet, but I consider my second draft a rewrite. It will mainly include a character personality revamp and while not necessarily changing A, B, and C, there are a few links between the letters that I want to do over. Also, I sucked at writing action scenes before, whereas now I have a better handle on them. So pretty much every action scene other than perhaps one or two of them are going to be completely re-choreographed.

From there, assuming I don't think everything is crap when I come back to it after a month, I will be mostly line editing. That's going to be my favorite part, I love nitpicking. ^_^

Lee HH Cope
03-24-2012, 09:24 PM
I have been writing the TOTEK book for a year now, although it has been in the think-tank for a lot longer.

Sometimes I do tend to go back and go over the entire 17 chapters that I have written, and I do tend to find myself rewriting whole paragraphs and checking my grammar and punctuation.

I hasten to admit that my education was not the greatest as I don't pick things up very fast, and I do most certainly need to find myself a good editor to be honest.

If anyone feels that they would like to help me learn the mistakes I have made then please get in touch or leave a constructive comment. This book is taking up my life and I wouldn't want it to end up on the scrapheap.

http://www.worthyofpublishing.com/book.asp?book_ID=22048

Take a look and have a read and 'Please' let me know what you think.

HoneyBadger
03-24-2012, 09:45 PM
I have been writing the TOTEK book for a year now, although it has been in the think-tank for a lot longer.

Sometimes I do tend to go back and go over the entire 17 chapters that I have written, and I do tend to find myself rewriting whole paragraphs and checking my grammar and punctuation.

I hasten to admit that my education was not the greatest as I don't pick things up very fast, and I do most certainly need to find myself a good editor to be honest.

If anyone feels that they would like to help me learn the mistakes I have made then please get in touch or leave a constructive comment. This book is taking up my life and I wouldn't want it to end up on the scrapheap.

link removed by me

Take a look and have a read and 'Please' let me know what you think.

First, welcome to AW!

Second, if you post more than fifty times, you can post your work for critique here.

Third, if you're serious about publishing, pull what you have from an easily Googleable place. Technically you're already published. Agents like the glimmer and gleam of debut novels, and don't like when an author's debut has already debuted, especially for free.

courtneyv
03-24-2012, 10:15 PM
I tend to edit more than re-write. Going through the MS and changing little things here and there within the already written work. But there inevitably comes a section where I need to re-write the entire scene to make it more effective. So I guess I do a bit of both, but I've never totally rewritten an entire MS before. But never say never right? :)

Same for me. I've dropped scenes entirely, done edits and reworked some scenes I didn't like, especially regarding tone and/or voice, but I've never done a complete rewrite. So far I've liked my books pretty much the way they emerged.

I also edit-write. I try not to and hope to just plow through and get it down, but I just can't help myself from tinkering along the way. It does slow me down a great deal. The only time I haven't written with my super-critic right beside me was during Nano.

The Lonely One
03-24-2012, 10:21 PM
I think sometimes the necessity for a rewrite is further off than it seems.

For instance, I've been writing this essay about a racetrack I went to with my dad as a kid. My first intro paragraph was about the track. And I really liked the 'proving ground' angle I was taking, as I am tying together my trials and tribulations as a male growing into my father's shoes with the race on the track.

However, a lot of those first few graphs were background of the track. Its history yada yada. Which is important to understanding that place, but I was not present until paragraph three or four (a page or so later).

There's always that instinct when you're unhappy with something to scrap it and start over.

But in this case I'm glad I fought that instinct. I pushed what I had down a bit and 'started over,' this time opening with an anecdote about my dad and me, a picture of us at the track. This was when he was an alcoholic still and then BAM--I had my connection.

We started going here when my dad was drinking, and that tempered my experience going into adulthood. It was a 'proving ground' to us as much as it was to the drivers.

The background stuff seemed to fill in really well below the anecdotal stuff, because the track's history involves WWII pilots which was another proving stage.

If I would have gotten rid of those graphs and rewritten, instead of pushing myself to tie the info into something more personal, it might not have been as good an essay, or at least not nearly the same essay.

Just a thought. Rewriting can be helpful, but make sure, and I mean brood for a few days or so, before you completely wipe something out.

n3onkn1ght
03-24-2012, 11:06 PM
I never rewrite completely, I just edit it until it works. I spend too long on the words and the language to not keep them as intact as possible.

VoireyLinger
03-24-2012, 11:35 PM
I edit. I stay on the existing document, clean up what's there and any changes are usually minor. Twice I've written new scenes and worked them in, but other than those, the editor gets a lightly tweaked version of my raw writing.

Writing it once is enough work. I don't want to do it twice.

blacbird
03-24-2012, 11:40 PM
Not an either/or, nor separate activities for me. When I go through a first draft, I tend to do both as necessary.

caw

gettingby
03-24-2012, 11:47 PM
I hate editing and rewriting so I try to make my copy as clean as possible from the start. I seriously hate it when something needs a lot of work. I will even give up on something if it feels like it will take me longer to clean it up than start over. I think knowing how much I hate editing and rewriting has helped me produce cleaner copy.

Lee HH Cope
03-24-2012, 11:51 PM
First, welcome to AW!

Second, if you post more than fifty times, you can post your work for critique here.

Third, if you're serious about publishing, pull what you have from an easily Googleable place. Technically you're already published. Agents like the glimmer and gleam of debut novels, and don't like when an author's debut has already debuted, especially for free.

Thanks for the advice, and to be honest what you have said has already been said to me previously. So the first thing I have done is pulled my book from W.o.P. That site has been good to me in the past so I haven't completely left it. But I do hope to take my writing to the next level through the help and advice here at AW.

hlynn117
03-25-2012, 12:00 AM
Then I either c&p the original chapter and line edit, or rewrite passages that are a hot mess.

When my brain is melty, I just do a search for extra, crappy words: that, was, were, etc.

I think it depends on what the original draft offers. For me, with my current project, the original draft was 80,000 words and not working. I went back, changed the plot, and used about 10,000 words from various scenes I felt stuck and worked well. Then I rewrote the thing from scratch. 110,00 words later, it's editing time.

I'm at the point of editing, changing scenes, and putting the pacing of the novel together. I'm deleting the fat from the book. At the very least, I kill as much passive voice as I let slip into the novel. I'm going to put this out to a beta soon, and I am looking forward to the moment when I don't have to think about it for a week. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

blacbird
03-25-2012, 12:04 AM
I hate editing and rewriting so I try to make my copy as clean as possible from the start. I seriously hate it when something needs a lot of work. I will even give up on something if it feels like it will take me longer to clean it up than start over. I think knowing how much I hate editing and rewriting has helped me produce cleaner copy.

"Clean" copy may mean you're good with grammar/spelling/typos, but it doesn't necessarily mean your early draft doesn't need editing/rewriting. I'm good with the nitpicky stuff, too.

caw

roseangel
03-25-2012, 12:54 AM
What ever the story needs, I do.

flapperphilosopher
03-25-2012, 04:23 AM
I rewrite like crazy. Even before my first draft of this latest novel was done I'd rewritten the important scenes a couple times, then after that first draft I rewrote the whole thing again 2.5 times. Plus rewriting a couple scenes more than that. By 'rewriting' I mean taking a scene and writing it again without looking back to the first version-- including whatever is stuck in my mind as important, but doing more with it, or doing it differently, or whatever it needs. The whole draft rewrites include adding scenes, cutting them, moving them around, doing scenes in different POVs, changing pacing, etc. Once I'm at the version that I feel is right, then I edit, which is more at a sentence/paragraph/word level.

So.... for a 51,000 word novel, I've written more than 250,000 words total! Seems kinda crazy, but that's what works for me, apparently.

JQTrotter
03-25-2012, 06:20 AM
For me, it depends on the story whether or not I rewrite it completely but I never go through a story to just check for spelling/grammar. I away end up changing the structure of sentence here or there to try and make it better.

For another WIP of mine I'm going to complete rewrite it. It's because I don't like the way it turned out and I know it needs so much work that it'd be easier to just rewrite it then edit.

hlynn117
03-25-2012, 08:49 AM
For another WIP of mine I'm going to complete rewrite it. It's because I don't like the way it turned out and I know it needs so much work that it'd be easier to just rewrite it then edit.

I agree. Most times, I write some short scenes, and when I'm ready with an outline, I go back and flesh out the story. I have a 'run off' folder (several, actually) where I store a lot of material that will never make it into the story. I write a lot of things while trying to figure out the voices of my characters and get the feeling of the story, and when I edit, I save all of it, so if I get stuck, I can go and track my progress and see what I cut. In general, I do a tiny bit of editing while writing the story, but I don't do whole scene editing until I get towards the end. For example, I'm working the last scene, but I started heavy editing on the rest of the novel because my brain doesn't want the last 2000 words to come until some problems get fixed in the earlier parts.

Lee HH Cope
03-25-2012, 09:36 AM
I'm in the first pass of a modified one-pass revision (http://hollylisle.com/one-pass-manuscript-revision-from-first-draft-to-last-in-one-cycle/).

First, I do edit as I write, for grammar, spelling, etc. Little plot things I add as I write, but I don't kill myself editing, though I try to get as much right the first time around.

Then I printed it, and made notes (in red, because it's motivating) as Holly says.

Then I either c&p the original chapter and line edit, or rewrite passages that are a hot mess.

When my brain is melty, I just do a search for extra, crappy words: that, was, were, etc.

Once I finish doing this and polishing to the end, I'll do one more pass using Maryn's little smash-edit list (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7046407&postcount=9), and tweak a few words, but no major plot or character revisions.

THEN it'll go to betas and I'll ignore it for a bit. (I started revising immediately, like, literally minutes after finishing the first draft, but this doesn't work for everyone.) Once I get word back from betas, I'll tweak things that are common hang-ups, and do a final once over, then it's off to agents.

I started writing this on Janurary 19th of this year and it should be ready to query by the end of April. I have only done like 3 loads of laundry in that time, though, so, you know. It's okay to pace yourself.

Once I get word back from betas

Hello HoneyBadger...what are betas?

Becky Black
03-25-2012, 02:35 PM
A bit of a mix for me. Some pages might have nothing but a few tweaks, others may have the same basic shape, that is everything's in the same place, but where I reword almost every single line. Others might be torn to bits and rebuilt. Sometimes there comes a point with a passage where it's easier just to mark the few bits I do want to keep and redo the rest from scratch.

It tends to be more rewriting at the start of the story, and more just editing towards the end for me. But there can be anomalies on the way, where something even late on needs a big rewrite.

HoneyBadger
03-25-2012, 05:11 PM
Betas are the people you get to read your polished manuscript once you think it's about ready for publication. It's like that site you were on, but private.

I have an alpha reader who read along as I wrote because I'm a needy praise-junkie. I've sent the revised and polished first 3 chapters out to make sure they work, and once the full thing is as shiny as can be, I'll have a few people who a) LIKE the kind of book mine is and b) hate me enough to tell me the cold truth and are c) are stronger writers or just plain smarter than I am, read it before I start querying.

Fresh eyes are good eyes.

BethS
03-25-2012, 06:17 PM
When you go over your story/novel, do you rewrite it completely differently or just check spelling and grammar?


Also what would class as a rewrite to an edit?

I rewrite as I go.

Not sure what your second question means.

Lee HH Cope
03-25-2012, 06:23 PM
Betas are the people you get to read your polished manuscript once you think it's about ready for publication. It's like that site you were on, but private.

I have an alpha reader who read along as I wrote because I'm a needy praise-junkie. I've sent the revised and polished first 3 chapters out to make sure they work, and once the full thing is as shiny as can be, I'll have a few people who a) LIKE the kind of book mine is and b) hate me enough to tell me the cold truth and are c) are stronger writers or just plain smarter than I am, read it before I start querying.

Fresh eyes are good eyes.

I would love to be able to message a beta reader. Do they mind unknowns contacting them at all? If not, where would I find one please.

HoneyBadger
03-25-2012, 07:18 PM
Edit: He thought about her and walked ton to the door.

Revision: Walking toward the door, he thought of her.

Rewrite: He was nearly out the door before she was out of his head.


Oh, re. betas, the best way to get skilled people to help is, I think, to help others first. Either hook up with a real-life crit/writing group, or help others with their novels and queries here until you've established that you're interesting in helping the community before seeking help with your own work.

StaceyJaine
03-25-2012, 08:53 PM
I tend to re-write until I get the novel working how I want it and then edit it until I capture everything how it's supposed to be. My first drafts are usually quite rough.

gotchan
03-25-2012, 09:30 PM
I plot and outline. Then I write a first draft over those bones. No one gets to see that. I put it aside for at least three months and work on other things. After three months I've forgotten what I thought I wrote and read what is actually on the page. Second draft is a page one rewrite. Characters get changed, cut, merged together. Who does what to whom gets changed. Subplots are expanded, cut, or added. After the second draft it's editingóchanges that don't require restructuring.

Silver-Midnight
03-25-2012, 09:57 PM
When you go over your story/novel, do you rewrite it completely differently or just check spelling and grammar?


Also what would class as a rewrite to an edit?

Whether or not I rewrite or edit depends on how good I feel about the story. I mean I think my writing is terrible a lot of the time, but if I think the story is just plain, horrible then I usually try to do a rewrite, provided I'm still interested in the topic.

If I think the story is, at the very least okay, then I just go through an edit it. I'll fix spelling, grammar, or maybe rewrite a sentence or two but other than that, I don't change it as much as I would(or try to) during a rewrite.

Lee HH Cope
03-26-2012, 03:27 AM
I tend to edit more than re-write. Going through the MS and changing little things here and there within the already written work. But there inevitably comes a section where I need to re-write the entire scene to make it more effective. So I guess I do a bit of both, but I've never totally rewritten an entire MS before. But never say never right? :)

I am exactly the same. I tend to spend ages upon one page, just to make sure that it all flows as best it can.

Although I do always find myself going back and reading it all over again and even then it still isn't quite how i want it to be. I strive for perfection, but like many things, it just takes time I guess.

BethS
03-26-2012, 05:08 AM
Edit: He thought about her and walked ton to the door.

Revision: Walking toward the door, he thought of her.

Rewrite: He was nearly out the door before she was out of his head.




Good rewrite!

DTHunter123
03-26-2012, 02:39 PM
A lot of very good info here, thanks all