Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Rewriting is ...


Rewriting is deleting half the words you wrote because less is more. Because you were telling, not showing. Because first drafts are clunky. Rewriting is putting a few new words in, better words, but far fewer in number than those you delete. Rewriting is shifting things round to an order which achieves each effect in a better way. Rewriting engages a different part of the brain from the part that wrote that first draft. Rewriting takes just as long, or longer. Rewriting is more than minor tweaks. Rewriting is vital.

The image is from some rewriting I did the other day for my next book.

Draft 1 was 5,797 words.
After my first pass it was 4,571.
I cut 1,226 words, or c.20%.

(And more since then - another 200 words.)

Authors, you have to be able to do this without regrets.

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