Sunday, February 5, 2012

We Write and We Rewrite

I think I’ve found another description for the Terrible Two’s…that term would define the combined labors of editing and rewriting. 

I’ve been rewriting my book now since the middle of January.  At first, I felt very proficient as I began making the changes I had scribbled all over the first draft.  The task did not seem all that burdensome since I had already read through the book and made notations regarding changes I wished to make.
At first, I think I actually enjoyed the rewriting portion of writing.

But then the inner critic took over, which brought me back to the task I did not especially enjoy…editing.
As I made the first draft changes, I was in fact reading through the story again and in doing so, I was also editing…again.  Not only am I making changes based on the first edit, I am also making additional changes I feel are necessary while I read over the story again as I rewrite.

Of course, I never thought my book would be prefect the first or second time around.  It will most likely take more than a few edits before it is worthy of publishing.  Thankfully, I’m on no one else’s deadline but my own.  I just hope I can stick to my own deadline because while I rewrite the first book I am working on a second book.
Some might wonder why I would start a second book before finishing the first.  That’s okay; you can wonder, worry or choose to believe I’m being hasty.  I just have certain goals and I’m trying to stick to a plan.

To multi-task or not to multi-task, that is the question.  It may be a good subject for another blog.
Here is what multi-tasking looks like:

I would call this “creative chaos.”  Actually, my desk has looked worse so this was a good day.  When I am in the middle of various projects, my desk will appear to explode but believe me, for the most part I know where everything, and I mean everything, is located. 
I have always been good at multi-tasking so I don’t really doubt myself in that regard.  It’s just that one story can so overwhelm your thought process, along with all the other little details and chores of everyday life; it will soon be determined whether I can skillfully rewrite one book while also writing a new one.  However, spending time on my second novel is a nice break when I tire of rewriting the first and I like the option of moving back and forth between the two tasks.

When it comes to rewriting, I will keep in mind what the experts say:
“Books aren’t written, they’re rewritten…”  Michael Crichton

“There is no great writing, only great rewriting.”  Justice Brandeis
“The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon…”  Robert Cormier

Or how about, “It’s perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.”  C. J. Cherryh
Garbage is a strong term and one I personally would never use to describe my work, but you get the gist.  It is the editing and the rewriting which both ultimately deliver a superb story.

To persist is to prevail and when it comes down to it, the light at the end of the tunnel is really not so very far away. 


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