How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it take?

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shadowwalker
 
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Re: How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it t

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:06 am

ramboyearone wrote:Writing is creative, is a matter of ideas and personal demons, and must be done as fast as possible. Demons are as rare as paranormal activities, and ones caught, must be used 120% immediatly.

Rewriting is absolutely the opposite... You have to use your intelligence only. You must be faithful to your inner demons, but you must kill the style with no regrets.


Have to disagree here - at least with the tone of "absolutes". Writing - whether the original or the rewrite - is creative. It all requires intelligence and thought. Speed is irrelevant. Those are my absolutes.

And I have no idea what you mean when you say "you must kill the style with no regrets".
There's only one absolute in writing - Never listen to absolutes.

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djm
 
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Re: How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it t

Postby djm » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:44 am

Answer to the question:

I would say that I probably rewrite between 3-8 times depending on how I feel about the project. If I read it and I'm not happy with it, I'll tinker. If I'm really unhappy I'll overhaul. If I hate, I just rewrite the thing from scratch. Short stories rarely need more than 3 or 4 edits/rewrites for me. On occasion, if something is desperately wrong I'll spend more time with it.

djm.

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mammamaia
 
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Re: How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it t

Postby mammamaia » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:07 am

i have to ditto shadow walker's post...
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EccentricKim
 
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Re: How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it t

Postby EccentricKim » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:17 pm

indeed!
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wdarcy
 
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Re: How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it t

Postby wdarcy » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:30 pm

I would also ditto Shadowwalker. i get really tired of these absolutes. As if there were one way to write, one way to edit.

Also, without looking it up, I doubt King ever wrote "kill your sons." The expression is "kill your darlings." And it is not original with King.

But "kill your style"? What on earth could that possibly mean?

Sheesh.

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Re: How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it t

Postby ramboyearone » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:04 pm

well yes, sorry for the 'absolutes'! Saying it this way was not kind. The thing is I tend to think that what works for me is good for everyone, so my apologies.
I am very bad guy with what I write, this is also explain why I have been somewhat rude.
I use to think that of the seven long novels I wrote in my life, only four are worth publishing, and trust me, I don't like trashing my novels (around two years of work each). But if they are not good, they are not, It does not matter I wrote them.
So the absolutes are also due to the fact I hate the mistakes I now know I have made in the past :evil:

In my writing life, I had the best results writing the first draft as fast as I can, thinking only to catch ideas, not to write it in a good or stylish way. But working this way makes the style results of first drafts average and, never real good.
I founded that this way of catching ideas worked very well with me, and was also suggested by two writers I think are highly skilled (King and George Martin), so I know use it reguraly.

Than I rewrite.

During re-writing, you feel like you have some kind of friendship with your first draft, even with it's style defects or wrong ideas. You must have the guts to do what has to be done.
Cutting is a good example. Cutting phrases, ideas or chapters is painful. You are attached to them.
But cutting can make good almost any reading: the worst the reading, the more need to be cut.
To the point an extremly bad reading can become interesting if shorted in to a single phrase.
For example:
"Swharznegger finds he is the cloned twin of Danny de Vito" nice. But a two hours movie... No, thanks.

Also note that style is often a trap for writers. I think that the "being styilsh" obsession, has turned many good writers in bad writers. This is something I think we will all easly agree in this forum.
But something similar happens to ideas.
For example: sometimes the first time you write a novel, the story goes in the wrong direction. You have 'wrong ideas'.
But they still are ideas, sometimes good ideas, but not in the book you are writing. You will not get to even more powerful ideas if you follow these first wrong ideas. First time writers tend to loose themselves in wrong ideas, or they put all ideas together, doing a great mess.
Faletti did this in "I KILL": will the killer be caught in his house, on the road, or on the seaside?
"Wow, I have a good idea for three diffent endings".
He put them together very badly in my opinion, and the ending of the book is the worst part of it all (hope he won't hate me for this, he is italian like me and I like his writings :mrgreen: )

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Re: How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it t

Postby ramboyearone » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:48 pm

wdarcy wrote:I would also ditto Shadowwalker. i get really tired of these absolutes. As if there were one way to write, one way to edit.

Also, without looking it up, I doubt King ever wrote "kill your sons." The expression is "kill your darlings." And it is not original with King.

But "kill your style"? What on earth could that possibly mean?

Sheesh.

--Warren


Here comes my english language limits, I am afraid. Let's see if I get to explain myself.

In my opinion, the best way of getting a good style, is not thinking at it at all. Then, your very personal way of saying things come up, and probably is the better than any other style taken from the writers you like, or coming from your wish of having an unique style.
So I really think that the first you kill the 'style wish' in your mind, the first you will put your hand on a very powerful way of telling things.

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shadowwalker
 
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Re: How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it t

Postby shadowwalker » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:23 pm

ramboyearone wrote:Here comes my english language limits, I am afraid. Let's see if I get to explain myself.

In my opinion, the best way of getting a good style, is not thinking at it at all. Then, your very personal way of saying things come up, and probably is the better than any other style taken from the writers you like, or coming from your wish of having an unique style.
So I really think that the first you kill the 'style wish' in your mind, the first you will put your hand on a very powerful way of telling things.


Okay, that makes more sense. What you seem to be saying is don't try for a particular style, don't try to copy someone else's style, but just write and let your own style develop naturally. Am I on the right track there?
There's only one absolute in writing - Never listen to absolutes.

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ramboyearone
 
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Re: How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it t

Postby ramboyearone » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:06 pm

shadowwalker wrote:
ramboyearone wrote:Here comes my english language limits, I am afraid. Let's see if I get to explain myself.

In my opinion, the best way of getting a good style, is not thinking at it at all. Then, your very personal way of saying things come up, and probably is the better than any other style taken from the writers you like, or coming from your wish of having an unique style.
So I really think that the first you kill the 'style wish' in your mind, the first you will put your hand on a very powerful way of telling things.


Okay, that makes more sense. What you seem to be saying is don't try for a particular style, don't try to copy someone else's style, but just write and let your own style develop naturally. Am I on the right track there?


Yes you got the point.
The worst way to get a personal style, is searching a 'wonderful and unique style'. If you are searching it, well... Kill it. Kill the style you are using. Try to write with no style at all, and you will heal from the terrible plague of the 'unique style myth'.

And more over, the number one suggestion I would give to any writer, is to focus to make your works more 'powerful', not 'more stylish'. This is really important and really different. I rewrite for years, if necessary, because I want my works to be more powerful or easy to be understood, not more 'beautiful'.


FUNNY POST SCRIPTUM
please note that I come from Italy.
Italy is OBSESSED by the 'unique style myth', which is something I really hate and don't understand.
We buy millions of books written by Tom Clancy or Dan Brown, but our writers write in an intellectual/difficult to read/experimental way (me not, I am an alien. I sometimes even deny I write to these people).
Why do we are like this here in Italy? Boh.
Have you ever read Umberto Eco? In one of his books he wrote in four different languages. You have all the languages texts and translations. Is he nuts? No, he is one of our superbestselling authors. Sean Connery acted in a movie from one of his books (yes, THAT book).
Ok, that book was good, but be seriously: you can't take it as a model.
Both italian writers and italian publishers are ruined by this fake myths.
And my life has been. I will tell you this.
I went to work for some months in a publisher where I previously sent a thriller novel they rejected.
I never said a word regarding my novel they rejected a year before.
After some work, translations, and other stuff, the publisher took me, and told me:

"I Have to confess... I remember when your novel came here. We discussed it. You were REALLY good"

(I STILL AM, STUPID PUBLISHER, WRITERS DON'T WRITE GOOD THINGS BECAUSE THEY ARE LUCKY - obviously I did not say that). Then he said:

"The problem was the style. Good, but not what we search by italians. We publish your kind of style only if written by ENGLISH authors. Otherwise they don't sell many copies"

(AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! YOU REALLY COULD NOT SHUT UP, EH? DAMN YOU! NOW I HAVE TO KILL YOU).

No blood was spilled that day, but this man never really understood how lucky is to be still alive.

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WeAreOnTheLoose
 
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Re: How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it t

Postby WeAreOnTheLoose » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:54 pm

This time around, I'll be doing a first, second and third drafts over six months.
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