Keiri LaPrade's picture
Keiri LaPrade from Virginia is reading Beowulf May 23, 2015 - 11:08pm

Have you ever written something then decided that it needed major work and decided to rewrite it?   How did you go about doing it?  

I'm curious becuase I'm currently doing this with my first real novel and I want to know what works for everyone.  I decided to open a new document in Mircosoft Office and pull out what I think I can keep from the original but add in some new.


Also, I'm back!  Got bogged down with 5 research papers and a 10 day unit plan.  So, I didn't have time to check in.  How is everyone?

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like May 24, 2015 - 7:21am

What works for me is handwriting the first draft, then editing on the page (making notes, crossing out, etc.), then editing further during transcription into a word processor. If the first draft is a computer file, you could print it out and do the same steps. Anytime I've edited a first draft which wasn't on actual paper, the edits have tended to be less drastic (for better or worse).

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal May 24, 2015 - 7:59pm

I started from the beginning, (which I ended up changing as well), and kept going until the parts that needed overhauling, editing (or retyping) along the way. So far so good.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami May 24, 2015 - 9:10pm

Well with my first novella, I decided I wanted to expand it into a novella because the short stories don't really stand very well on their own. This was more out of writing practice, and less publishing.

With my third, well it started out as a story collection anyway. Then added Bailie as an after thought.

Keiri LaPrade's picture
Keiri LaPrade from Virginia is reading Beowulf May 24, 2015 - 10:16pm

Thuggish,  I started at teh beginning too.  Just becuae I knew some of the changes I wanted to make would mean I'd need the eariler changeds too.  That and it's helping me make the story flow alittle better.


jyh, I've noticed the same thing when I tried to do on-paper edits.  I seem to not want to make it up as much.  And sometimes I can't read my own handwriting.  My word processor has an option that shows the changes and one to leave comments too. I tried to use that but it gets alittle overwhelming.   

I figured opening a new document and going through it page by page would work the same as rewriting it but I'm not sure.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal May 26, 2015 - 10:08pm

oh yeah, but i'm always going along and then leaving notest to myself to go back and change little things in previous chapters. luckily it's small stuff these days so no overhauls within overhauls...

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore May 28, 2015 - 7:31am

You could try what some screenwriters do when adapting novels, which is read the original a couple of times then stash it in a drawer and rewrite only from memory. The material that sticks with you was worth salvaging, and you'll make up the rest to patch over its flaws. I'm not a rewriter, because I'm too precious about phrasing, but it seems like sound advice, at least for the high-level storytelling aspect.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal May 29, 2015 - 7:39pm

Now that's an interesting idea...

You know... you could make a brief outline of something and rewrite it as well.

rachel1121's picture
rachel1121 from Colorado is reading anything I can get my hands on. May 29, 2015 - 12:48pm

I read my first draft and then change the font for the parts I don't like or that don't flow well or something.  Then I'll start a new document and toggle between the first and second draft, sometimes copy/pasting a part I like and then retyping the parts I don't.  I also have a file called "deleted scenes" where I copy/paste things I like but just don't fit.  I've never used any of them, but I like them too much to let them go.