Friday, August 12, 2011

Slower Than a Sickly Snail!

Oh those rewrites! I'd like to rewrite as fast as Superman. Faster than a speeding bullet. Sadly I often feel  more like this guy here ...

It amazes me when I read about some writers who speed through those revisions and rewrites. I can slash and burn through an editing round pretty quickly, but rewrites take me FOREVER!!!

I'm hoping to get better at this, but I need to let the ideas roll around in my head for a bit before I tackle anything. I have to mull it over, see how the new pieces should fit. It often takes me days before I can tackle rewriting a scene. One scene. *sigh*

Are you Superman or SuperSnail when it comes to rewrites? Any tips?

92 comments:

  1. I'm like you. I need to mull things over, think about it before diving into the scene/s. I feel that if I am too hasty, I end up rewriting my rewrites! And that's counterproductive. So, as the saying goes, I go about "slowly, but surely". :)

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  2. Cherie - That's exactly it. I don't want to rewrite forever! I'm not so sure about the 'surely' part though - I feel like it's taking FAR too long!

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  3. I'm definitely a SuperSnail. I deliberate over every word as I rewrite. :)

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  4. I am the snail of all snails. I should get a crown ;) It's the perfectionist in me...most days I hate her, but in the long run I know taking my time will result in, well, less crap. :)

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  5. Emy - yay! Another snail - at least we have company!! :)

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  6. Charissa - love it! I think you're right - slow isn't all bad... just feels like it some days! :)

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  7. Love that cute snail! I hear you. Rewrites take me forever. Steady on! :)

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  8. I've been working on mine for nearly a year.

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  9. Matthew - thank you!!!!!! I feel so much better when I hear that! :)

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  10. SuperSnail here! I feel your pain. Good luck and try to have some fun! Hope you have a good weekend. :)

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  11. Laura - thankfully it is fun - it's just sloooooow fun! :) Enjoy the weekend as well!

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  12. I have to admit that I'm a cross between Superman and SuperSnail when it comes to rewrites. For me it just depends on what the rewrite entail and how much I have to change it.

    Most of the time, edits take me a while - and it's due to procrastination. I can zoom through writing, but when it comes to edits I ease into starting them.

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  13. I mull it over for a while when I'm going to rewrite something. I don't want to do it wrong twice :-)

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  14. Amy - I love that first draft too - and I can tighten up a draft in decent time. But rewrites almost kill me!

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  15. Christi - exactly! I wish I could outline and save myself some hassles, but alas, it's not to be!

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  16. Good luck with the rewrites. There's nothing wrong with being SuperSnail. That way you everything just as you want it.

    Mason

    Thoughts in Progress
    Freelance Editing By Mason

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  17. Mason - thank you! I really, really hope you're right!!! :)

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  18. Count me in on the slow boat. I'm a fast first drafter, but a pitifully s-l-o-w reviser/ subsequent drafts. For the precise reason you mention...I have to think on things, figure out how to make the new pieces fit, what I'll have to rip out/change, etc. I can fester over a single paragraph, to get it just right, for hours during revisions. *le sigh*

    I have nary a tip for you. It's a slog. (now you know why I call it RH...'cause it's hell.)

    Have a lovely weekend, Jemi. *hugs*
    Love,
    Lola

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  19. Thanks Lola!

    It really is a slog. I want everything to mesh, to work well. I do think a lot of my problem is that I don't outline. *sigh* It really is revision hell!

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  20. super snail for sure. I was just saying to a writing pal that it is like walking through hip-high mud - and I'm square in the middle of the process with lots to do when I get it done! Oh well - pitter patter let's fly atter!

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  21. Jan - let's fly atter indeed! I love the mud analogy - perfect. That's exactly how I feel with the one draft!

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  22. Ah, same here. I take forever on revisions -- especially tightening. Good luck with yours!

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  23. Erm. I'm a super slug. LOL!!

    Awww good luck with your revisions!! You go at the pace that's best for your wip is what I say! Yay! Take care
    x

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  24. Jenna - thanks! I'm actually pretty good at tightening (that's my favourite part of revising!) - but rwriting to fix plot holes = sloooooow!

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  25. Old Kitty - yay! Company for me :)

    I'm working on 2 stories at the same time - one is the major rewrite, the other is normal revising & editiing (which I quite like!) - to save myself some heartache!

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  26. I write the first draft faster than it takes me to rewrite. That's just me. But I try to be plotting while I'm rewriting so I can jump into the next project.

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  27. Laura - I love the first draft - it's my favourite part of this whole process! And it's next to impossible to stop those new story ideas bouncing around :)

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  28. Wish I had some tips. I am slowly plodding along inch by inch...

    Hang in there!

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  29. Shannon - I'm so glad I'm not the only snail!!! Inch by inch it is :)

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  30. Snail pace. Absolute snail pace. I'm quite certain because I'm in the middle of re-writes at the moment and going nowhere fast.

    Nice to know I have company.

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  31. Definitely super snail on this count. I'm about in the same boat as you. I detest rewrites. But love them when they're finished.

    *puts on cheerleader uniform and picks up pom poms*

    Go. Fight. Rewrite. *clap cheer dance* Gooooo Jemi!

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  32. Linda - yay! Company is always good! And I'm always up to provide homemade cookies! :)

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  33. Alex - really? That actually surprises me - I thought you'd be more Superman speed :)

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  34. Nichole - ooooo! Uniform and all!

    Go! Fight! Rewrite!!! That's my new mantra - love it! :) Thanks for the cheer :)

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  35. I have been re-writing the poems I have chosen for my new book......seems never ending.

    Enjoyed the read.

    Yvonne.

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  36. Yvonne - 'never ending' is a pretty good description some days!! Good luck with the poems :)

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  37. Oh, Jemi,

    I have been editing my current novel, but I needed to add a chapter/scene to bulk up the word count.

    Just to back track a bit. I wrote the whole novel in six weeks.... crazy sixteen hour days. This scene has been in the works for almost two weeks. I wrote three quarters of it, but the blogging world calls to me after every paragraph I write... I don't like rewrites.

    Once you're out of the book and you have to go back and add chunk is so not fun. Like you said editing is a snap!

    So I guess I am part snail part superman. I ALWAYS know what I want to write, it's just getting it down.

    I should be finishing the rest of this scene and here I am ..... LOL. BACK TO WORK MICHAEL!

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  38. Superslow snail for sure! I'm still slogging through a first draft.

    Good luck with your rewrite!

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  39. Michael - I'm so glad I'm not the only one! You're so right - when the first draft if flowing, it's so easy to stay in the story, to know the nuances, to get it down. But changing the timelines, adding or subtracting plot elements - that's the stuff of nightmares :)

    It is sooooo easy to procrastinate at those times - so, yup, back to work here too!

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  40. Suzie - thank you!

    I don't usually get too stuck in the first draft - it tends to flow pretty well for me. It's those plot changes and timelines that get me! Have fun with yours too :)

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  41. SuperSnail, definitely. I charged through my first draft, but when rewrites swung around it took me forever just to figure out where to start. :P

    Good luck with your rewrites!

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  42. Most definitely a snail. I probably hesitate too much.

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  43. Golden Eagle - that's exactly the way it works for me! I need to find that happy medium that keeps me in line!

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  44. Mary - me too! I'm better now that I save every major revision as a new file. I've never gone back to an old one, but I feel better knowing it's there! :)

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  45. When it's a revision I've tasked myself to do, I can do it quickly. But when someone else (like an MFA instructor) requests a revision, it takes me longer. Easier working with myself I guess???

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  46. Anita - I guess so! I've never worked with anyone - I hate to think I might be slower if I ever get the chance... :)

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  47. Editing? Yikes, I've never done that. Then again, I don't need too. That would be because Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star checks all my rather poor and inept writing. Did you know she's my 'pawblisher'? :)
    Have a excellent weekend, eh!
    Shy and humble Gary at his rather unknown blog :)

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  48. Gary - I may have to borrow Penny for a bit! I could use an editor and a pawblisher right about now! :)

    Hope your weekend is wonderful too! :)

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  49. Tricia - lots of us are sharing the road on the snail trail! At least we have company! :)

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  50. OH! I'm the same way. Planning a new novel AND rewriting a previous novel take me a long time to sort out. But, the snails eventually cross the finish line too!

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  51. Kari - It's so nice to hear I'm not the only one. I feel so ridiculously slow with some of these things!

    You're so right - the snails do cross that line - hope we get there relatively quickly!!! :)

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  52. My edits get speedier the further in I get, but I'm still on this first one I started in June.

    JUNE!

    But it's really more of a rewrite so I'm trying to be okay with that. Trying.

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  53. Stephanie - I know how you feel! It's amazing how life can ge tin the way! :)

    And those rewrites are just totally nasty!

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  54. I don't rewrite (yet) but if I did ... I'd reside among the slugs! :)

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  55. Beth - I will welcome your company in slug-ville when you decide it's time!! :)

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  56. I've taken to doing quick-writes when I am revising. I get down as many possible fixes and directions as I can in 10 minutes. It's given me some much needed clarity at those sticky moments where I'm hitting the wall.

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  57. Leslie - that's a good idea! I think I may just have to borrow that one!! Thanks :)

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  58. For me, the slowest part of rewrites is the part where I have to actually get my butt in the chair. Once I'm there I can move along at a reasonable pace. I think there's such a danger of falling into a neverending hole of rewriting and revising, and if I don't keep moving, I know I could be there forever. So I zoom!

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  59. Amie - that's very, very true! It's sometimes hard to break through and let it go. There is always something to fix. I'm going to keep working on that speed! :)

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  60. what's a 'rewrite'? :O lol

    but yeah, a tedious, but necessary, process, often takes me longer than hammering out the original....

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  61. Laughing Wolf - lol :)

    Me too! A lot more, sadly!

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  62. I've always thought writing shouldn't be rushed, it's a natural process and should flow naturally, so don't worry too much when it acts like a snail instead like a fast river :)

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  63. I've brought snail to a whole new level. Definitely takes me longer to edit than to write. I've been editing my current ms for two months and I'm only half-way there.

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  64. Dezzy -- great advice! I guess I really have to just do my best - and hope it's good enough :)

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  65. VR - I love having company! It always takes me longer than a few months - life is too busy to be faster than that :)

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  66. I'm slow on the first draft... painfully slow! My rewrites go pretty quick... thank goodness. Otherwise, I'd never get anything written.

    By the way, found your blog through Alex's movie blogfest. You have a cool blog!

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  67. Sadly, I am a snail during the first draft and during revisions. I get frustrated when I hear how quickly my writer friends kick out manuscripts, but I've come to accept my snail-ness.

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  68. Doralyn - thank you very much & welcome! :) I've met so many great people through Alex's blogfests!

    Sounds like your style is almost exact opposite of mine for drafting and rewriting. That's what I love about writers - we all do the same thing, but we can each do it our own way. :)

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  69. Cynthia - I think that's what I have to do ... accept my snailness. 'BE the snail!' :)

    Glad I'm not alone :)

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  70. yes, rewrites take forever. But it actually takes me longer to write an outline because I'm thinking about world-building and setting up rules and new characters and asking myself all sorts of questions. It's one long mull. Rawr! (guessed that's where I'm up to at the moment?)

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  71. Sometimes I go too fast, but lately I've been slowing down for the better. Mostly I feel like revisions are so complex (since changing one thing might have a snowball effect) that I need to wait and then re-read to make sure it makes sense.

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  72. I think I'm a snail in just about everything I do these days. I can't seem to get past my first writes let alone rewrites.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  73. I'm SuperSnail.

    When I rewrite, I also rewrite my outline to help guide me. Still, I'm slow.

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  74. Lynda - That's really interesting. I don't outline & I always assumed it would be easier for people who do. But that thinking time has to show up somewhere I guess! :)

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  75. Lisa - that's exactly it! There are so many little changes that go with any change, it takes forever to intigrate it into the story!

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  76. Lee - :) That's definitely how I feel somedays - and the older I get, the more often I can feel like that. First drafts still zip along for me though - hope that doesn't change!

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  77. Medeia - yikes - never thought about having to change the outline too. It seems neither outliners or non-outliners have the advantage here!

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  78. I'm somewhere in between. Like a strolling kinda fast but always interrupted person. But stay with it. I finally entered the editing stage, which, is really just another revision.

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  79. Both. Like Supersnail, I'm either a speeding bullet or a sluggish line of slime.

    Rewrites to me mean I am modifying the story, not just editing it.

    Editing is easy. Bing bing done if there are no rewrites.

    But if it's a rewrite, I'll nuke entire scenes and chapters, add in scenes and chapters, re-plot and filter that throughout the story since it's a line of dominoes and each must fall before the next.

    I do what needs doing. That's all. I don't worry about whether it's fast or slow, because pace doesn't matter, just the finish.

    Just the finish.


    - Eric

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  80. Stephen - that's a good way to describe it! The interruptions are continual! I like the editing phase - it's always fun. It's the plot hole fixing that drives me a little nuts. :)

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  81. Eric - that's exactly like me. Editing is fun - I like to slash & burn & tighten up. Rewriting ... not so much. It is slooooow.

    I think I've got another new mantra ... Just the finish. Just the finish :)

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  82. oh, it is hard... try to relax and take your time. As you're writing, know that it's just getting better and better! :o) <3

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  83. Leigh - good plan! Getting better is alwyas worth the time, isn't it? :)

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  84. I've learned a thing or two from NaNoWriMo about revision and me.

    -Let a rough draft rest for a god while so it feels fresh and new when you come back to it.
    -Print out a paper copy (only one of the process, so please don't hate me. I'm a treehugger too!)and read through it from start to finish like a real book. Make extensive notes in the sidelines.
    -Retype (oh yeah, sounds painful and long, but it's worth it. I promise.) the manuscript incorporating your changes as you go. You'll be amazed at how much stronger sentences turn out, how full plot holes become and how much more robust your characters will be.

    Not promising this will work for everyone, but it has helped me tremendously. I'm down to only needing one major revision and a couple tweak-throughs now. Before...yeah, we won't talk about that!

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  85. Cat - Wow! That's a very cool plan. I never print anything out - but I can see how that might work! The retyping too - because you're always going to polish a bit when you type it again. I might have to give this a shot! Thanks for the tip :)

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  86. I am terrible at re writes! I blow through my first draft every time but when it comes to re writing I always get stuck!!!

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  87. C'estlavie - (love the name - had to add in the '!! :))

    I know! I am so slooooow at rewrites. I'm getting better, but I'm nowhere near the speed of a first draft or an editing round!

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  88. It doesn't matter how long it takes. The only thing that matters is how good it is.

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  89. Agnes - I guess that's true - it can just be a little frustrating at times! :)

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