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 Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]

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Ren
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PostSubject: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Sat May 30, 2009 12:34 am

So I was entertaining a question, and decided that it would make good discussion.

I am working on my novel, Wings, and I recently decided that I may change one of the main components of a character in the story. A major character. Now I'm not done with the novel. Some people would suggest I keep writing - just crank out the entire story, and then do the revisions in the editing process.

With a core idea, do you go back and rewrite past chapters before you finish the ones ahead? Part of me wants to keep writing, get through it, even if it will take a major editing later; I'll be done. The other part wants to save myself the editing pain later and I frequently go back and re-edit what I've already written; maybe almost as much as I write forward.

Thoughts? Crash through and kick out the novel, then edit? Or fine-tune as you go alone? Or, of course, the happy medium? (Like I have an accompanying text file that has my thoughts; how I plan to fix the character, so I keep my notes with the story without actually doing any editing.)

<3 Ren

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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Sat May 30, 2009 5:29 am

Ooh, great question Ren!
I've kind of been considering this myself recently.

I've heard many times that you shouldn't start editing before you've finished the first draft, because otherwise you'll be forever editing and never get finished. I think that is so true. I've never tried editing my stuff as I go along, because I know that I'll find other things I want to change.

But now, I've realised that one on my MCs isn't quite how I want him to be. I want him to not be so nice all the time. So, do I go back and change the stuff I've done so far, or do I just carry on?

I think what I'm going to do is, instead of changing what I've done so far, which is about 23k, I'll just change it from now on, and finish the story like this, then come back and change things later.

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Ren
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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Sat May 30, 2009 1:27 pm

One thing I did (talk about serious editing) I started writing in 3rd person and wanted to switch to 1st after the first five chapters, so I DID take a break from writing and rewrote the first five chapters in 1st. That was insane. I really don't want to rewrite the character, but she needs to be changed. I'm afraid if I don't re-set the tone for the character, I'll write her wrong. But I *so* don't feel like rewriting again, so I may keep going onward and get to the point where I can say I have a finished story.

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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Sat May 30, 2009 7:39 pm

Kick out the story.

I used to reread the current chapter I had worked on and edit it "quickly" but then found that I really didn't catch much of the problems while I would do that.

Now, I reread to actually get "in tune" with the story again once I've taken a break from it. I stop myself from editing unless it is driving me insane (more like grammar problems). But other than that, I have learned not to edit until it's done with the first draft.
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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Sat May 30, 2009 10:05 pm

Maybe you should do both. You can finish you first draft but rewrite the scenes with your new character in a notebook when you have free time. That way youcan breeze through that part when the time comes and get onto the real editing.
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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:35 am

That sounds like good advice - that's kind of what I'm doing. I use editing as an excuse not to go forward. Like, there are parts I'm dragging my feet on, and when I don't want to write, I'll edit instead. It's a horrible habit. Good thoughts, everyone!

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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:11 am

Fior me, I think the answer must be that cop-out: 'it depends'! There's much to be said for getting ot the end and then reviewing the whole thing in toto, when stuctural things that were invisible to you as you were writing suddenly become clear.

But if you think of somehting early on that you definitely want to alter, and you know it's going to change significantly the shape of what is yet to come, it makes sense to me to go back and fix it, and track through the changes up to where you're at - because otherwsie you know you are writing on in a direction which isn't ultimately a productive one.

Good luck, either way!
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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:13 pm

As much as I think it's a bad idea, i do revisions before I finish the novel. Sometimes it's just too big of an issue to continue from where you are with such a large change you will be doing (ex. changing major characters or plot lines). I think it might be better to go on and go back later if it's a small change, but if you're changing something of more importance, I would change it now so that way, your story can continue without having to completely rewrite it again. :]
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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:10 am

I've read somewhere that may authors consider their first draft to not actually be a 1st draft at all but an actually outline of the story. I'm a fiend for not writing but rewriting the little i have, but i think that getting it done is important, you can then look back and even change your characters or play around with it. After a year of trying to be good and 'outline' i'm just going to type, make mistakes and flat characters and then go back and edit like a krazy woman Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:16 am

Thank you for the insight - I think I'm going to end up going back and editing first before continuing on, because I am changing the essence of one of my characters who is minor now but will become major, and the thing I am changing is central to her ascension to the title 'major character' Good ideas everyone!

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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:08 pm

belated! I go back and re-write. I have one story that's changed four times now... *sigh*

Its time consuming, but changes made in the beginning effect the remaining parts. In fact its been so chopped up and reworked that its not even the original plot anymore! Which works GREAT for me now!! Haha Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Rewriting before Writing? [Order vs. Feeling]   Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:35 pm

Ren - i'm intriqued! Smile

does this concern wings?

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