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AAUGH! Rewrites!

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Jun 9, 2010 11:44:55 AM

I am in the middle of rewrites at the moment. I always think I'm prepared for the process, but every time I learn that one can never be fully prepared to find cringe-worthy passages in one's own writing. Rewrites are the very definitions of arduous and humiliating. There are times I just can't bring myself to read one more page without a long break that involves chocolate or some baked good that soothes my writer's wounds.


So, is it worth the tedium, horror, and extra pounds to rewrite? Without question, yes. I find too many times that self-published authors either don't do extensive rewrites or they don't do rewrites at all before publishing their book. Huge mistake. Rewrites can do more than help you track down typos. More importantly, they can help you catch holes in your writing and story. When you're working on a manuscript that's tens of thousands of words long, you're no doubt going to make errors that can leave the readers scratching their heads. For instance, I inserted a scene to pursue a plot device, but as I continued writing I determined the plot device didn't work. The problem was that my focus then turned to completing the book, and I put the now useless and dead-end scene out of my mind. Of course, I found it going through rewrites and cut it. Had I decided to take the path of least resistance and self-publish the book without looking back or only giving the manuscript a skimming over, I would have sent a subpar product to market.


Rewriting is the least fun part of publishing a book, but in my mind, it is the most important phase of the process. It's so important I don't think you can do it alone. You need an editor or a reader you trust to go through your manuscript and ask you the tough questions about your writing style and your story. Give them the freedom to slash and burn your manuscript without getting defensive. You'll have a better book for it.


I have to go now. My first draft and a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies are waiting for me.


Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.



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10,201 Views Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, book, editing, self-publishing, writers, publishing, writing, drafts, typos, craft, rewrites, chocolate

May 16, 2013 10:49 PM Court12    says:

Thanks for the good article. I have written an English textbook and have probably had to edit or rewrite some part or other of it at least 15 or 16 times! And, as  I go through this process, I can't believe that I 'really missed that' the last time. The amount of time that the editing has taken in comparison to the original writing is mind boggling. Because it is a textbook, everything has to be 'right' because then some student is going to pick it up and say "What's this?" or worse, not understand something. This experience has convinced me I never want to be an editor. Thanks again, CW

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