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  1. #1
    DaBlaRR
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    Second Drafts

    Ok so I'm now so close to done my first, first draft ever.

    I have read a million things about how to approach the rewrite, that wasn't that helpful and I think I developed a pretty good strategy on my own on how I am going to do it.

    My question. Do any of you, actually REWRITE or do you just edit what is already on your screen.

    I didn't think in the beginning there was a point to actually physically rewriting it, but after thinking about it I had a thought that it might be helpful. I mean where I was in the beginning and where am now as a writer is completely changed. Where my characters were and what they became is somewhat different.

    Is it ever a practice to start on a blank page and use your first draft as a guide? A lot of work, but maybe it could be worth it.

    There are many blanks I need to fill in. A lot of the writing style alone has to be changed.

    There is so much to add, erase, fix, etc. That it almost feels like starting on a blank page is the right decision.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I don't think I've ever rewritten my writing. I only edit, add, or delete, and usually pretty lightly, because I edit mostly as I write. I never change what exists into something else.

    I don't know...if your first draft is really that awful, what makes you think re-writing it will make it better? I suppose you could rewrite it, but why not just finish it and write another story?

  3. #3
    Rogue Mutt
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    Mostly I just edit but sometimes I have rewritten. If you think there's a lot that needs changed with the plot then rewriting is probably best.

  4. #4
    DaBlaRR
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    I don't think I've ever rewritten my writing. I only edit, add, or delete, and usually pretty lightly, because I edit mostly as I write. I never change what exists into something else.

    I don't know...if your first draft is really that awful, what makes you think re-writing it will make it better? I suppose you could rewrite it, but why not just finish it and write another story?

    Not saying it's that awful. There is just a lot of missing pieces in the first half that needs to be written to tie up the end. I thought maybe rewriting would give me some sort of different perspective and help. You know kind of a mind game I play on myself. The edit is probably the way I will go. I was just curious what you more experienced guy's/girl's have done.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mutt View Post
    Mostly I just edit but sometimes I have rewritten. If you think there's a lot that needs changed with the plot then rewriting is probably best.
    The plot is the same. But needs to be strengthened when it comes to concluding the story. As I said to John, probably will just edit as he mentioned.
    Last edited by DaBlaRR; 08-11-2015 at 07:45 AM.

  5. #5
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    People certainly do rewrites from scratch. I can imagine it is the right idea in some cases.
    For my second draft, there were scenes where I had to start from scratch, or delete, or insert. But there were plenty of parts where the basic structure was fine and it was just the writing which needed improving.
    I found it easiest to print out my draft (admittedly a bit heavy on the ink and paper) and scribble potential changes onto it. Most of my pages ended up very heavy with scribble.
    Even though I kept a copy of my original draft, (Always keep a copy of earlier drafts) I found it psychologically easier to butcher my writing if I did it on a print out first.

  6. #6
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    What Dogsdinner said. Always edit/rewrite on paper.

    Also, a much touted reference book is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition, by Browne and King.

    Congrats on finishing the first draft.

  7. #7
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    Not saying it's that awful. There is just a lot of missing pieces in the first half that needs to be written to tie up the end.
    But that's what editing is for. If the flow of the story will be unchanged, and you're adding things to foreshadow, and such, you're doing what you should be doing. Start over and you'll only find yourself, at the end of that process, in the same situation, and saying the same thing.

    If you're up to speed so far as understanding craft and structural items—the nuts-and bolts of scene construction—edit for what jumps out at you as awkward when you read it—the obvious problems. Then make a pass to add sparkle to the dialog and the actions, and get rid of the unnecessary/awkward words and phrases. Then decide if it needs more.

    As for adding things, ask yourself if it's being added to better explain the situation, and make the reader know the characters better, or to make the scenes more entertaining. One of the traps for the new writer is that of thinking the reader wants to know your characters, and what makes them what they are. They don't, other than as necessary to understand and appreciate the action in progress. The idea is to make them experience the events, not learn the details of your plot, because plot is appreciated after the fact, but the writing is what keeps the reader turning pages.

  8. #8
    DaBlaRR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    But that's what editing is for. If the flow of the story will be unchanged, and you're adding things to foreshadow, and such, you're doing what you should be doing. Start over and you'll only find yourself, at the end of that process, in the same situation, and saying the same thing.

    If you're up to speed so far as understanding craft and structural items—the nuts-and bolts of scene construction—edit for what jumps out at you as awkward when you read it—the obvious problems. Then make a pass to add sparkle to the dialog and the actions, and get rid of the unnecessary/awkward words and phrases. Then decide if it needs more.

    As for adding things, ask yourself if it's being added to better explain the situation, and make the reader know the characters better, or to make the scenes more entertaining. One of the traps for the new writer is that of thinking the reader wants to know your characters, and what makes them what they are. They don't, other than as necessary to understand and appreciate the action in progress. The idea is to make them experience the events, not learn the details of your plot, because plot is appreciated after the fact, but the writing is what keeps the reader turning pages.

    Thanks for the helpful responses guys. I think once I write the last line of the first draft tonight (or tomorrow...long day), I'm going to let it sit for a couple days.


    Jay, actually a lot of what I want to do is to make the readers understand a couple characters more. I understand completely what you are saying, but my writing for the said characters who lead me down a path that I did not intend, need to be touched up. For instance, even though they were pretty important characters, the changes they actually caused me to make, has now made me think, sh*t. In the beginning even though they played an important part, they are like ghosts. Now that I am in my last leg, I have realized that they need to have louder voices and development in the beginning to justify their actions now. Not to the extreme, but enough to justify it.

    "Appreciate the action in progress" - Exactly my motivation for some of the changes that are imperative I make.

    The plot was there, and I never REALLY new the ending till now.

    Thanks for your constant input. It's appreciated.

    On a different note. It feels like when I ask questions here I'm always one step further to being complete. It's like my questions are a blog of my journey of my first novel. The answers on this forum, have all been helpful. Even some of the disputes that have gone off topic has been helpful.

    I'm far from done so there will be much more questions... next one probably in about 5 minutes haha.
    Last edited by DaBlaRR; 08-11-2015 at 09:44 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    One of the traps for the new writer is that of thinking the reader wants to know your characters, and what makes them what they are. They don't, other than as necessary to understand and appreciate the action in progress.
    Rubbish.

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