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  1. #1

    Is there such a thing as overkill on rewriting?

    Okay, on my stories... I add more detail once I have the outline done..then check spelling, grammer but I'm afraid that maybe I'm adding to much detail or not enough...is there a way to figure this out?

  2. #2
    Bob Kellogg

    Yes and no

    Abby, in my experience, only time will tell.

    So you start with an outline. Does that mean you're writing non-fiction? If so, your question is like, how high is up? You're the one writing the article or non-fiction book. You'll have to be the ultimate judge of whether ot not you've said all you need to say.

    Either way, the most helpful thing is to let the manuscript sit for a while and concentrate on something else, something that will demand the majority of your mind. A week, a month, however long it will take until your text has retreated to the back of your mind. Then, when you pick it up again, you'll have a fresh viewpoint, you'll be more objective, and will have a better idea of whether you fully explained something, or over-explained it. (Always beware of useless repetition. Or, as I recently re-learned, tautology.)

    While the fires are still hot, that manuscript can only suffer if you keep whacking away at it.

    Bob K.

  3. #3
    Brady Boyd

    Re: Yes and no

    My method is to spew raw words onto the page. I write it exactly how it feels good, how it blasts from my brain. It's nasty to look at. Then I get out a huge axe, chop chop chop. Next comes a paring knife, slice slice slice. Then I get out my Swiss Army Knife made in Taiwan and unfold the tiniest little knife thingy, poke poke poke.

    When I can't chop, slice or poke any more without destroying the story, I'm done. Takes twice as long to edit the story as it took to write it. Spend more time erasing words than writing them and you'll do fine.

    Brady Boyd

  4. #4
    Rebecca Fryar

    Re: Yes and no

    Wow! You can use an outline an stick to it? My characters would have me tied up over an ant hill if I tried that. More power to you.
    Description. Depends on what you mean. If you mean endless telling detail about the setting, characters etc., yeah. You can overdo it big time. If it is showing detail, I tend to be much more conservative with my editing knife, a blade 15 vs a 10.
    It is much better to let that manuscript ripen for a week or so before revising or rewriting. I've got a bad habit of revising on the computer as I write. What happens is I start losing my personal style. I took care of that by typing with the monitor off. Leads to some funny looking stuff sometimes, but well worth it. Remember the old story about the lady who decided to write a novel. She wrote one page, and the next day she revised it down to half a page, then a paragraph, then a sentence.
    I don't put rewriting and revising in the same catagory. Well, kind of like mushrooms. Some people lump some kinds of mushrooms in the same genera, others make a whole new one for them. They overlap, but they are different. Rewriting like writing must be revised, because it has become part of the story. Beware of one pitfall in rewriting that I struggle with, the use of rewriting to deal with a spot where the plot could diverge one way or another and you really haven't made up your mind. No matter how many ways you rewrite it, it's going to seem weak until you and the characters set your collective jaws and say we are going this way, and if you don't like it go sit on a push-pin. In fact, I use rewriting so much in the context of trying to sweep my flaws under the rug that I can use it as a marker of where I need to go back and strengthen the plot so that the story is swept along a river instead of ending up in a marsh.

  5. #5

    Re: Yes and no

    Bob... that is true..I never really thought that waiting would do much, but yeah it could. I see that now. Brady- I wouldn't have thought of re-writing as cutting, slicing and poking, pretty creative! Rebecca- Hmmmm writing without your monitor off...that sounds fun..maybe I outta try it. Thanks guys =)

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