Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Power of a Re-Write

You toil over the words, analyze them, revise them, plot, ponder, say them aloud, and even dream about them. Admiring the best that your creative genius has to offer, you sit back and stare at the screen. Perfect.

With pride, you offer your page for expected approval from a trusted reviewer. Maybe it’s a relative, perhaps a critique partner; it could even be an unknown reader from across the globe. You expect them to tell you, “It’s a masterpiece.”

It isn’t. There are flaws, unanswered questions, poor grammar, errors in continuity, misused words, and weak flow.

Your face warms and the air thins around you. What happened? Did they read the same words you had written? They must be mistaken. Obviously, they have different tastes and don’t understand genius. Relax. Absorb some oxygen. Sit down. They are right.While tastes differ and personal opinions vary at levels that stretch the universe, there’s one constant in our arena:
Poor writing is poor writing.

I’d like to tell you that I’m an expert, with years of publishing behind me, and numerous books quantifying my experiences. Truthfully, I am a novice; I haven’t published an utterance and I’ve never spoken to a published author. I know the strength of words, and can tell you with certainty:
There’s power in a re-write.

Step away from what you’ve written and UNDERSTAND what your readers are telling you—take notes if you must. Then dig inside yourself for the inspiration to apply that to your revision. Re-write and then do it again. Print the pages or view them in another format. Look for everything you can to gain a fresh perspective. Sometimes it even helps to have someone else read the words to you. Oh, the horror; you’ll discover the flaws that by the nature of your abilities should not have been. Re-write.

Eventually, YOUR WORDS will form the POWERFUL MASTERPIECE you imagined.


  1. Very true! I've just finished scrawling notes over my first draft, in preparation for a rewrite, and am amazed by the amount of red pen that covers every available space.

    It's made it clear to me that there are a lot of improvements to be made, which makes me excited to see the results of the rewrite.

    I definitely see it as a positive thing, rather than a setback or a grind.

  2. I agree with you. It is exciting to see the changes that result from re-writes. It means that we're improving in our craft. Be sure to keep us updated on your progress. Thanks for your input.

  3. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

    The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

    If you can imagine it, you can create it.

  4. I can't wait to finish this first draft so that I can get the red pen out. I think that in some way editing, and making your story even better is the exciting part.

    Or maybe I am just weird. Lol. Thanks for stopping by my blog :)


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