Rewrite Hell

So, I’m adding lots of new words (doing the 50,000 in fifty day challenge), but I’m also rewriting the stuff I’ve got, trying to corral the skittish scenes into a cohesive whole.

As always, I’m wishing I had a different ‘process’ – one that was streamlined and efficient. I wish I didn’t splurge out a rubbish first draft and then spend months working out what on earth the whole thing’s supposed to be about. I wish I didn’t have to spend time writing all the stuff that is wrong in order to find the stuff that’s right, but I honestly don’t know how else to do it.

For the organisational, headache-inducing nightmare that is the rewrite, I’ve tried post-it notes and scribbling on a whiteboard, colour-coded spreadsheets, index cards and spider diagrams. Ultimately, it all comes down to the same thing: going through the manuscript over and over again, moving the pieces around, adding all the stuff I missed, and deleting the bad, the boring and the just plain wrong.

Although, writing-advice-addict that I am, I have spent the last hour studying Holly Lisle’s One-Pass Manuscript Revision (recommended by Keris, I think) which appears very sensible and comprehensive. Now I just need to make myself a cup of tea and apply it. Easy. (Sound of hollow laughter).

[Picture is of one of Proust’s manuscript pages, via Proustitute]


2 responses to “Rewrite Hell”

  1. Fay Dashper-Hughes Avatar
    Fay Dashper-Hughes

    Alternatively you could procrastinate and go to a Laura Marling gig? She is touring in the highlands this summer…


    The website also has video footage of the gig that she did in India.

  2. Sarah Avatar

    Oh, yay! Thanks for the tip… That’s high quality procrastination! x