Curse of the Rewrites

It’s been a while. There are all the usual excuses: back at work, babies, a hint of a social life (not much, but one day normal services may resume!)

So with limited time, writing has had to come before blogging (and vacuuming, but that’s no surprise!).

I’ve been to a local litfest which has got me bravely dabbling in shorter pieces and finding an accessible writing group (finally, Hurrah!).

But a lack of concrete progress was getting me down. Then I recognised why.

Rewriting the rewrites of the start of my novel. Mulling over the right starting point. Tweaking characters and going through to amend them for consistency, voice etc.

Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t wasted time. The quality has shot up. I’m much more confident with my start, my characters, which threads to keep and which are being left to pander to my ego or sentimentality (“but I’m sure this character will come in useful…I can’t just get rid of him because he doesn’t do anything…can I?!”).

But I noticed myself treading the same dangerous ground that stilted me with the first draft: overthinking, overediting, then panicking and destroying my work through irrational fears. (Originally I bulked out word count by adding a load of cheesy metaphors. Good job I saved the earlier copy!)

This time I caught myself, and I’m still struggling to resist adding/editing threads, but since I’ve started limiting it to the ones that are either too annoying to leave, or holding me back because they don’t have the right feel (e.g. did a minimal amount of research into strip clubs and realised the whole scene I’m up to plays out wrong.)

Suddenly the piece is taking off again. About bloody time, too!

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Leila

Mum, writer, gamer, geek. Trying to master the first two whilst squeezing in time for the latter.

3 thoughts on “Curse of the Rewrites”

    1. Thanks. You hear it everywhere, “writing is rewriting”, editing is the biggest part etc, but it’s only doing it that you appreciate how big! Especially first time round, when there’s so much craft, voice etc to develop.

      Liked by 1 person

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