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Can you tell me about rewrite technique?

The rewriting process is a tedious drag through the mud that many authors fail to do (hence the pile of rejections sent by our publishing company). It is very much needed and involves many different techniques and skills.

The Rewriter

Some authors do their first draft then spend time just copying it out to correct the issues. In this way they completely rewrite the novel from prologue to epilogue, never pausing in their diligence to find as many of their errors as possible.

Once they have done this, they wait at least 30 days and do it again. This continues until they have completed 5-8 rewrites and paired down the words by a tremendous amount.

The only issue with this method is you become too familiar with your work and tend to miss a number of issues staring you in the face.

The Talker

This person reads the manuscript out loud. They are relying on the vocal queues to show what is wrong and where people will stumble. It is my personal favourite in the whole of the rewriting methods for it produces a cleaner manuscript quicker.

After the first read through they usually put the work aside for 15-30 days and reproduce the method again. This continues until they have completed 5-8 rewrites and paired down the words by a horrendous amount.

The only issue with this method is becoming too familiar with the work very quickly.

The Cruncher

Very few authors use this method, but it does work. They read the work out of order, starting with a middle chapter and randomly working their way around through the first rewrite. This way there is no familiarity and the work is looked at singularly. Some go as far as only looking at the first sentence in each paragraph, then the second, then the third. They are making sure each sentence is perfect.

With this method you don’t need to put the work aside for any length of time for each rewrite presents a different view of the work.

Issues – Because you are reading the work out of sync you may miss glaring issues with plot or theme. Scenes become disjointed to you and problems with characters do not surface.

The Critiquer

Many authors enjoy this method, but some use their first drafts, which is not correct. When using critiques to finish or polish off your work it should be done in such a way to put the finishing touches on something that has already been worked to your best ability.

The method involves finding people who are willing to read and give notes on the work. There are three methods of critiquing, broken down as:

Inline – The critique will have detailed notes throughout the manuscript, pointing out issues and supplying feedback throughout.

Prose – This is when the critique has notes on the side of the writing in different areas. It is not as detailed as inline, but will give good resounding and pointed information on what is working and not working.

Freeform – The less useful critique gives an overview of the written work pointing only to sections in an essay style. This is useful if the writer needs only an overview on the work.

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