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Birol
07-22-2007, 07:53 AM
After you've finished the first draft of your poem, novel, short story, article, script, or <insert the project of your choice>, how do you approach the rewrite? Those who work in multiple mediums, do you approach rewrites differently depending on what you're writing? Do you approach the second draft of a NF article differently than you do the second draft of your novel?

Rolling Thunder
07-22-2007, 08:01 AM
Why do you want to torture us so? :D

Birol
07-22-2007, 08:04 AM
Eh. No reason in particular. It's something to do while I wait for Medievalist to post something that will make my head hurt (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1491988&postcount=25).

rugcat
07-22-2007, 08:10 AM
I don’t really have a draft. My last book was revised as I went along. I usually write no more than twenty pages before I rewrite–then periodically, go through the entire ms to date and edit and clean up. By the time I write the last chapter, it’s basically done.

Of course, after it was done, I eventually changed the entire plot, cut 20,000 words, added 30,000 different ones, and went back through the entire ms to reflect the changes. Does that qualify as a rewrite?

Rolling Thunder
07-22-2007, 08:11 AM
Oh, okay then.

I approach my rewrites with a chair, whip, and loaded gun. In a sense. Short stories are rather easy to do but novels are tough. Self doubt tends to creep in as I work. Am I changing things for the better or not? So I try to stick to my original outline but change the story if I see an angle I never realized at first. I'm doing that now by rewriting a YA to MG...even though I wonder if this is a wise move.

Guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Siddow
07-22-2007, 08:12 AM
After you've finished the first draft of your poem, novel, short story, article, script, or <insert the project of your choice>, how do you approach the rewrite?


Novels: Print them out, put 'em in a 3-ring binder, toss under bed.
Article: Check facts, check grammar, hit send.
Short story: Trim excessive wordage, hit send.


Those who work in multiple mediums, do you approach rewrites differently depending on what you're writing?

Yes. Some things require truth. The rest of the stuff I make up.



Do you approach the second draft of a NF article differently than you do the second draft of your novel?

Yes. I actually finish the rewrite of the article. :)

Chasing the Horizon
07-22-2007, 08:21 AM
I have finally found a revision system which works for me.
1. Write first draft (the ENTIRE first draft, no missing scenes or 'fix this later' notes allowed)
2. Add, remove, and change around scenes until the structure is the way I want it. (running the piece through several more 'drafts')
3. Line-edit it for spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.
4. Read the entire thing again, to make sure I didn't miss anything obvious because of the piece-by-piece way I edit.
5. Give to beta readers.
6. Make final changes based on feedback, fix typos and other small errors picked up by beta readers.
7. File it under final drafts and move on.
I've only ever revised a novel, but I doubt this would be different for a short story or novella.

Poetry (yes, I do write poetry, I just never post about it) is different. My first draft is also my final draft. All I do is spell check it. If I don't like the way a poem turns out, I just start over and write a new poem about the same theme.

Shady Lane
07-22-2007, 09:04 AM
I write the first draft, editing as I go.

I print out the draft.

I don't do that whole let-it-sit thing.

I edit the whole thing, pen, pencil, writing in scenes, crossing stuff out, writing song lyrics all over the ms.

Then I type the entire thing up from scratch. I don't care if an entire chapter is the same as it was in the first draft. It gets typed up, brand new.

After that, I just go through and tinker with things as I like. I start querying agents. I tinker with it until I have to stop.

ChaosTitan
07-22-2007, 05:07 PM
You'd think that after six books, I'd have found a revision method that works for me. At some point, it involves printing and a purple pen. The only thing that remains the same is that I complete the manuscript before I go back and make any major changes.*


*I once decided, halfway through writing, to remove an entire character. Instead of going back, I simply continued as if he'd never existed. Once I was finished, I went back and chopped him out of the first half.

Jamesaritchie
07-22-2007, 05:43 PM
I don't really rewrite anything once the first draft is done. I expect the first draft to be good enough to publish as is, and I work hard to make it this way. For me, the second draft is a polish draft. I go back to page one, read all the way through, and systematically fix any problems I see. It's usually a bit of tightening, finding clunky sentences and unclunking them, and making sure all the dialogue rings true.

seun
07-22-2007, 05:58 PM
For books, I finish the first draft which is usually a bit of a mess (especially around the start), print it and leave it for at least a month. Then I go through it word by word, make notes, scribble bits out and all that good stuff. By this point, I've often decided to develop or cut an idea which then means it's time for the rewrite. Once that's done, I do a final polish, print it and let people read it.

For short stories, I leave them for less time and work through them on screen.

scarletpeaches
07-22-2007, 06:12 PM
After I finish a first draft, I put it asides for AGES. Long enough to have a cup of tea and a mars bar. Then I start reading it straight through but don't make notes on the text unless it's a typo. When it comes to stylistic changes, I edit those as I go, unless it's a really stupid mistake like someone's eyes changing colour or their age changing. In the main, when it comes to cutting or rearranging, I do those as I type the edit.

Soccer Mom
07-22-2007, 08:04 PM
Novels: I only edit from the printed page and then I go back and add in changes on the computer. This gives me two chances to look at something and see if I really want to change it. Then it's off to betas. Writing for kids, I always have an age appropriate beta that can let me know if I make any serious missteps in teen language, etc...

Short Stories: I always read it out loud when I'm done. I don't use betas unless I'm not satisfied with the story. I'll set it aside for a week or so and make a list of target markets (if I didn't write with a specific one in mind.) I give it one more pass through with "fresh eyes" and then hit send.

Storm Surge
07-22-2007, 09:38 PM
I write my first drafts longhand so I can't rewrite as I go.
I start the second draft on my laptop, constantly rewriting what I have typed as I change characters and plot elements. When it's all on the computer, I rewrite again.
Then I go to my family and beg and whine until someone will read it. This is the hardest part. After the six months that it take to get them to do this, I rewrite again.

zahra
07-22-2007, 11:43 PM
Just finished first draft of screenplay y'day. I'm going straight back in there in a minute (after I've finished playing here). It'll be pruning, unless something hits me as being life-threateningly awful.

Then I might send it to the UK Film Council, cos if they like it enough, they'll give me a free script-doctoring, as they're doing with the last one I sent them. (Course, if they like it enough they'll back it...)

Jamesaritchie
07-23-2007, 02:49 AM
I write my first drafts longhand so I can't rewrite as I go.
I start the second draft on my laptop, constantly rewriting what I have typed as I change characters and plot elements. When it's all on the computer, I rewrite again.
Then I go to my family and beg and whine until someone will read it. This is the hardest part. After the six months that it take to get them to do this, I rewrite again.

I write in longhand, too. Just double space, skip a line on the paper, just as you would with a word processor. It leaves plenty of room to rewrite sentences as you go.

Legionsynch
07-23-2007, 06:07 AM
I make notes as I go during the first draft, reminders to myself to reexamine a scene here, or look into rewording something there. Then, after a very basic read and edit, I make sure I do a more thorough edit. As I go, I cross things off my list, and maybe add a few more. When I'm done, I'm done (hopefully).

seun
07-23-2007, 12:37 PM
I write in longhand, too. Just double space, skip a line on the paper, just as you would with a word processor. It leaves plenty of room to rewrite sentences as you go.

I like the idea of writing longhand (a sort of back to basics style of writing). Sadly, my handwriting is so awful it wouldn't be worth it.

ChaosTitan
07-23-2007, 06:32 PM
I wish I could write longhand, but my hand cramps up after ten minutes. :( It's the curse of typing for too many years.

Serenity
07-23-2007, 06:44 PM
Oh my goodness, if I tried writing long-hand, I would be writing mysteries. Because after two or three pages nobody would know what the heck I was saying. But anyhow, as soon as I actually finish what I'm writing, I'll tell you how the re-write goes. :D

sunna
07-23-2007, 07:07 PM
I reread off the screen pretty much immediately after I'm done, mainly for punctuation,spelling, and continuity. (and also to see if I enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.)

Then I give it a week or three - however long it takes for me to come down from the high and realize it isn't the newest Great American Novel. Then I print it out and read for plot holes and pace, characterization, etc..

After that it goes to betas, providing I'm fortunate enough to have some with free time.

After I make changes from beta suggestions, I'll usually print it out again and read for - well, anything that catches my eye. Then I consider it done. At least until I have some great idea, or panic attack, and change everything.


Longhand - ai. My hand is cramping up just thinking about it! Longhand peoples, I salute you. :)

Jack Nog
07-23-2007, 07:27 PM
Short Stories get revised within a few days...

I just finished my first Novel, and I'm letting it sit. When I got to the end, I was so sick of my characters I wanted to kill them all off. I had several ideas float in for new stuff and scenes for old ideas. I just needed to be on to something else.

So for six weeks, I won't even think about those a-holes. Well, maybe a little.

Jamesaritchie
07-23-2007, 11:22 PM
I like the idea of writing longhand (a sort of back to basics style of writing). Sadly, my handwriting is so awful it wouldn't be worth it.

I'll bet you can write well enough, if you slow down. And practice make perfect.

Jersey Chick
07-24-2007, 12:05 AM
I am also of the should've-been-a-doctor-because-my-handwriting-is-so-horrible school. I have a hard enough time deciphering my notes, never mind the whole damn book.

I write the first draft and print it out as I finish a chapter. I let it sit for a week or two, and then read it, making notes, scribbling this out, drawing arrows to change dialogue or scenery. When that's done, I go and look up any additional info and tuck it into the manuscript (which is a mess of red by this point).

I make the changes, printing out chapter by chapter and edit again. There's usually a few major changes and a bunch of minor ones. Again, it sits, again I drag it out a few weeks later.

By then, the changes are usually minor - though I have had to start all over again when I decided I hated this character or that plotline. I usually have a finished book after between 5 and 6 drafts.

Shady Lane
07-24-2007, 02:58 AM
My handwriting's fantastic. Is that weird?

stormie
07-24-2007, 03:15 AM
I type out the first draft of anything (short story, novel, ode to myself) on the computer. Then I print it out, put it aside for about a week or so, work on something else, go back to it, reread it from the hardcopy with a pencil in hand. When that's done, I make revisions onto the computer. Print it out again. (I print it out in draft mode. There's a whole thread about that somewhere here on AW.) Put it aside for another week or two. Revise one more time. Then hand it over to a beta reader, or two. Final revision, if necessary.

<Whew> I'm exhausting myself just thinking about all that work I do.