Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Joy of Rewrites

Ask most any author and they’ll tell you that editing and rewrites are the least fun part of creating story. To my delighted surprise, that hasn’t been the case as I read and reread the first seven novelettes from my shapeshifter series.

Last week I even stumbled upon a better way of proofreading. It started when I created a multi-faceted Scrivener document. Within that software I created a separate folder for each of the fifteen tales.

Meanwhile I’ve been rewriting each installment within Microsoft Word. This old 2003 programming actually makes the process faster and more efficient than Scrivener by better correcting little spelling mistakes as my fingers fly across the keyboard.

Then, a week or so ago, I decided to read books one through seven yet again (!) before reworking number eight. It’s amazing how many tiny tweaks continue improving the flow and continuity of my prose. Now comes the probably strange sounding, monotonous step.

Wanting to keep my Word and Scrivener documents both up to date, I could go through the entire MSWord document and copy and paste it fully into Scrivener. Makes sense, right?

Instead, I started copying and pasting edited passages – most often paragraph by paragraph – as I retyped them.

I know. Tedious. Right?

But I plan to continue in this manner, at least with these most polished pieces. I find it’s helping unearth little tidbits missed in countless prior passes. For example, when 'must' should have been spelled 'much' (???).

How about you? If you are a writer, how do you feel about rewrites? Do you love them or hate them? Do you have any tips on how to best catch mistakes?

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23 comments:

  1. I do love editing. That first draft is always a hard slog for me. I find that the best way to find small errors is to read the doc in another format. Printing it out works for some. In Word 2003, there's the "print view" I think it's called. It changes the look just enough that errors pop out at me.

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    1. Oh! Brilliant! I didn't mean to post this under February sixteenth's date. Oops.

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  2. I'm too lazy. I haven't written much of anything of late.

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    1. You? Lazy? No way. Thanks for all your hard work saving beleaguered cats.

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  3. I feel your pain. It seems that I am forever doing that! I am not sure why...

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    1. Thanks for weighing in. I adore your blog.

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  5. I love editing...hehehe...I have to! I do it as my day job!

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    1. And I hope you truly do enjoy it. Your job is so important, Nasreen. I wanted to do that, something I might have enjoyed. I was too lazy to seek work I might have enjoyed. Blessings to you and yours!

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  6. Writer? Nope, not me although I always wanted to be one I can't keep my thoughts fenced to come out when I need them. They are scattered all inside my head and just when I think I have things under control, they run away!! Shapeshifters? Interesting. I love stories about shapeshifters, witches, vamps and demons....I love SUPERNATURAL!

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    1. Oh, my dear, don't fence in your thoughts. As wise friends tell me, let the thoughts roam on the page. Organization is for later. Best wishes!

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  7. I write a regular column for a magazine. I always read it three times - once for sense, once for typos and then I leave it for a couple of days and come back to it with fresh eyes.

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    1. That's purrfect! Seriously, you are very wise. That's what I'm doing with theses rewrites. Thanks for passing along the great advice!

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  8. I do like revisions because it means all I have to do is fix everything. I also don't like them for pretty much the same reason!

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    1. Too funny. It's surprising how much joy I'm getting with this, perhaps because the stories are coming along so well. And getting to know the characters is even more fun than before since the male protagonist is partly an antagonist to the main OC. ~grin~ Best wishes!

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  9. Hey, just checking in to see how the rewrites went?

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    1. You rock, Pam. They are continuing to go great! I'm on the ninth novelette and changing it tremendously to the darker mindset. My muse has never been more on target. Whether an audience would approve or not, I don't care. It's amazing fun. I hope you are well.

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  10. My problem with editing is knowing when to stop! Often my finished piece is a different story from the one it stated out as! And I do find spelling correctors a bit bossy. I do however find Grammarly quite useful except when it forgets I'm British!

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    1. I'm finding the differences made in these novelettes is quite satisfying. And I know what you mean about different software. One that I purchased has British origins. ~grin~ It makes things interesting, for sure. Best wishes to you!

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  11. Awesome to know that we can create folders in Scrivener. I have it but haven't yet had time to have a look around the software.

    All the best with your re-writes.

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    1. Thank you, Nasreen! There are still tons of features in Scrivener that confuse/elude me. People tell me to watch tutorials but I would rather be writing. ~grin~ Best wishes to you!

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  12. Hey Darla, yes, I have heard of the spoonies. It is hard to deal on a daily basis when you are in pain all the time. I make plans and end up having to back out due to pain. Hoping that the surgery and the change in eating will help me deal with some of that pain also....maybe it will not be as bad. I retired in July at 56 cause it had gotten way to hard to be in a working setting. But I do things around the house as I can and I can do it all at my own speed.

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    1. Bless you, my dear. I hope you get some relief. ~hugs~ You're amazing, what with all your great project and your attitude.

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Thank you for taking time to share your opinion. Hearing from readers adds immensely to my joy of writing!