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How many times do you rewrite? How many drafts does it take? : Writers' Block Party • Page 3 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

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

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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!
Previously published writer starting over.

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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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ramboyearone
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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


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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

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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


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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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