Episode 187: The Work of Rewriting

On May 21, 2022, Kasie and Rex took on the challenge of rewriting your novel. Here are the show notes:

Theme for the day

The Work of a ReWrite


  • Reasons you might need one
  • Strategies
  • Building a timeline for rewrite
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Link to the podcast

Segment 1

Got my manuscript back from the developmental editor and while a lot of what he had to say was great, one word stuck out: ReWrite. He may have even pluralized it. So what’s next? What do you do? How do you do it?

This week we talk reasons and strategies for rewrites and build in some practical work for Kāsie during our conversation. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and do the real work of writing a great book.

But first, SCWA has opened its digital journal The Petigru Review for submissions from SCWA members only. Since May 1, they’ve been accepting submissions from non-members. They have also opened registration for the Fall Conference in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. Ever been to a conference at the beach? It’s the best! Make plans to come and register at myscwa.org/events

So there are some reasons why rewriting is not a bad idea (link):

  • Being told to rewrite by an agent or publisher means they see potential in the work and your writing and just want to see if you can help your true message and skill emerge
  • Getting distance means you have time to become less emotionally attached
  • The words are just vessels, it’s the theme that matters. Work in that.
  • Perspective changes from revision — improving what’s there — to creating.

Segment 2

Let’s start with these six steps (link): 

  • Let the manuscript rest — get emotional distance and rest your creativity
  • List your story’s problems
  • Make a scene map
  • Make list of necessary changes
  • Create draft 2.0
  • Rejoice in the perfection you’re creating

So with this author’s suggestions we’ll see if we don’t get more actionable advice:

  • Know why it needs changing
  • Mourn the old version, then let it go
  • Plan what you want to do
  • Just write (duh)
  • Sometimes accept that you may have to rewrite and then rewrite again (yikes)

Segment 3

So ….

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