The biggest challenge in writing.
Rewriting is a challenge. All writers know that. The problem is that it takes so long.
So, I wrote a story in October. Edited it. Edited it on paper. Then I sent it to Critters to be critiqued by a bunch of other writers and asked an English teacher friend of my to critique it too. The English teacher saw it before critters and she thought it was pretty good.
However, Critters came back with a few comments. And we’re not talking minor problems here either.
- The character motivation doesn’t make sense.
- The POV character’s arguments look like straw.
- The only action is in the beginning, and that hardly makes it worthwhile to read.
- The POV character doesn’t seem real.
That’s only a few of them, along with a numerous grammatical mistakes.
So I started rewriting it. I
I took all the critiques, highlighted the important things, and fixed those. Then, I made my paper outlines of all my problems and made sure I got bullet points of all the things I want to include and how I knew the characters better.
However, in order to edit this story in a more satisfactory manner, I basically need to completely rewrite the middle scene. This is hard. I did it yesterday, but it was so hard, because I don’t debate well, nor do I have anything to debate with. My brother’s method of debating is repeating the same arguments time and time again, because he is convinced he is right, until I just get so tired of it that I say I’m done. Although he thinks he knows how to debate, he really doesn’t. Anyone else in my family doesn’t debate.
So I’m hoping that I came up with a suitable and believable arguments. Unfortunately, this is for the writing contest at my school and I figured out today that I have no chance of getting this sent out again before the writing contest is over. :(
That’s what makes it so hard. Sometimes, even though you don’t even realize it, the story doesn’t make sense and if you don’t have anyone to check that for you, well, that’s a problem.
When I began writing, I didn’t have anyone to look at my stories. Well, I only had my brother, but he was so young that it didn’t count. That was okay though; I needed the encouragement to keep writing then I think. But when I got the point that I turned out pretty good stuff, in my opinion, then that is when I need the help of others.
So what kind of experiences have you had with rewriting?
Rewriting can be the toughest part, especially when you think it’s a good story. We all tend to be our own harshest critic, so if something continues with the “good” stamp of approval from ourselves, then confidence comes that much easier.
Having to change parts of something that you’ve put a lot of effort into is rough: you may be exhausted with working on the story, or are itching to see it in print, or anything else along those lines. But once you establish a flow and a pattern, rewriting can really strengthen something.
My own experiences with rewriting haven’t always been pleasant. In fact, I don’t like doing it at all. But, not everything I write is going to be great. Some of it is going to stink. Redoing portions can make you open your eyes to see parts that may not be working, or need a little more work. Sorry to hear about the deadline passing by…but another one will come along!