For me, rewriting is harder than writing. Writing is fast, fun, and although not easy, it often flows. By contrast, rewriting is slow and often tedious – it involves little creation and a lot of tinkering.
When I rewrite, I try to get into a different state of mind. If I don’t, and I approach the story with the same creative attitude I had when I wrote it, I don’t spot the sentences that need to be rewritten. I end up proofreading rather than rewriting.
As this month I will be rewriting my story, I’ve decided to give myself some tips. I note them here so I will not forget them.
- Rewrite several weeks after finishing the last draft. Although I have not put aside the story, I have not worked on it that much lately. Next week I will not touch it at all, to make it feel fresh when I start rewriting it.
- Rewrite at a different time of day. I wrote in the early hours of the morning, and before noon. Now I will rewrite it in the morning, but also in the afternoon and evening.
- Rewrite in another room. I wrote my story in my bedroom. I will rewrite it in the kitchen.
- Rewrite on a different device. I handwrote my first draft, and typed the other drafts on a netbook. Now I will rewrite on a laptop.
- Rewrite in one big file. So far I have divided my story into chapters, and worked on each separately, one at a time. Now I’ve compiled all chapter files into one big file.
- Rewrite using a different font. I’ve chosen NanumMyeongjo for the rewrite – it’s similar to Times New Roman, but lighter.
- Rewrite the story backwards. The rewrite this month will be linear, but the one I will do in September will be from the last chapter to the first, to see whether the storyline holds together.
What rewriting tips would you give me?