Rewrites

Well, I've been listed for a week or so now. But even before that, I looked at my first chapters and cringed. Story wise they serve the purpose they were made for but they are rough.


How do I go about rewriting them? Should I do it now, with the slightly greater experience I have or should I wait untill my skills have grown further?


How do you rewrite? do you start from scratch with a list of plot points, things that have to be there, or do you tinker with what you have?


If you feel like you need to, then do it. But don't change anything major, plotwise, as that will throw some people off.


Syphax's rewriting (I'm actually assuming you just mean heavy editing, as opposed to completely redoing, so correct me if I'm wrong) method:


1. Typos. There is no story that cannot be improved with the elimination of typos. It doesn't matter what you do later with the chapter. Show them no mercy.

2. Plot and tone stuff. Stuff I forgot to emphasize, things that need explaining, etc. Add them in. Make a new paragraph if it works. Is the setting consistent (if your post apocalypse wasteland has a fantastic nightclub as opposed to a run down watering hole, where by literary law all adventures must start, there'd better be a damn good explanation)

3. Character stuff. Average guy under great duress talking very eloquently? Cut that shit out. Well breed upstate New Yorker inexplicably talking like a Alabaman redneck? Either un-inexplicably it or rewrite the dialogue for what you have in mind. These are extreme examples but I think you get the picture.

4. Wording. Get rid of simple to be verbs (was, is , and so on).

Chuck Palahniuk says this: http://litreactor.com/essays/chuck-palahniuk/nuts-and-bolts-%E2%80%9Cthought%E2%80%9D-verbs Which sums up to get rid of thought verbs (think, wants, etc)

I remember Wildbow saying this: get rid of -ly adjectives where you can.

In general be more descriptive. This isn't just you, just as a general rule. None of these are to be taken as gospel, you need to find what works for the situation your writing is at.

5. Typos. See number 1. You missed some, I don't care who you are or how thorough you are.


Hope this helped.


Thanks. Its kinda heavy editing, but its a nightmare. Changing it, but not changing it. Urgh. 30 odd chapters after are built on it, and its clunky as ...


I have the same problem as you. I rewrote my first chapter and I've been meaning to rewrite some of the other early chapters but I don't really have time between keeping up with my schedule and life stuff.


Just speaking from personal experience since I haven't read your serial but the first chapter is a pretty important one so I think it's best to rewrite it now even if you could do a better job later once you gain even more experience.


The first thing I did when I rewrote it was read it over and write down everything I revealed, showed, and happened in the chapter along with sentences and paragraphs that I felt like didn't need to change. Things like personality traits, backstory, worldbuilding stuff, appearance, etc. From there I wrote from scratch.


Ive got a half rewritten chapter, that I basically rewrote. It gives a far different feel, which I'm full of doubt about. Also, doubt seems to be a normal thing now.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/14CrDsvFaCTRsRT9yj4nFcKyZC1RCZRU3VnDANTvIwDw/edit


I wouldn't worry too much about the chapter having a different feel to it, as long as the tone is similar to what comes after it.


Doubt's pretty normal but there's not a whole lot of good advice to overcoming it, I think. You should finish rewriting the chapter and then give it to some trusted writer friends or post the link on your site for your readers to look and comment on before you swap out the old chapter with the new one.


Similar, I wish. It goes from snappy and quick to flowing and vaguely lyrical. No clue how that happened.


I was thinking of doing exactly that. If it had just been tiny edits, I would have swapped it out without warning. I put in the whole disclaimer to cover things like this.


It's just been one of those weeks, Im sure I'll get over it soon enough. Currently I doubt what I want for dinner, do I want chicken or pork, so it may not be a big thing.


Yeah, those weeks really, really suck.


You seem to have a pretty decently sized audience, from what I can tell from the hit counter at the bottom, so eh, probably don't need to rush.


A related note, I've read Paragon's review of my work. It was well written and polite. It still hurt my baby author feelings. I've clearly not developed the thick-skin needed yet.


But it has pushed me towards improving.


On with the rewrite.


You're doing the right thing, Tempest! I just read your second draft of the first chapter in the link there and it's much better! It's got some flow to it now. You've also obviously put some effort into fleshing out the details better (although don't go overboard with that).


You still have a lot of problems with sentence structure, though. If you didn't pick up that stuff in school you're going to need an editor friend to help you.


Unfortunately, writing isn't my strong suit, actually it's my weakest suit.

I have a couple of people helping out. I just can't seem to see the issues myself.


I have hopes that eventually I will catch on.