Before You Rewrite: Breathe

What if your synopsis ends up pointing out glaring plot holes or errors? The novel you thought was ready to shop now needs a total overhaul.
Writing Tip for Today: I can remember plenty of times when I trotted out a novel too soon. It isn’t pleasant when you thought you saw the light at the end of the tunnel, only now you must tear apart the novel.

  • First, breathe! You may feel overwhelmed. Whether you got this rewrite news from your synopsis, an agent editor or just a writer friend, you didn’t create the problem in a day and you won’t solve it a day. Take time off from the project if you need to. Go write something else. You’ll know when you can stand to face the task before you.
  • Consolidate Ideas. Many times, writers get all sorts of advice and it may be conflicting advice. What to do? After your breather, take a careful look at the different pieces of advice. Which suggestions are from those you admire? Even more importantly, which are ideas you feel you understand and might be able to accomplish? Decide on which ideas are ones you can tackle and jettison the rest. Story boarding can help.
  • Take Time. Finally, a novel that needs major rewriting may take awhile to reorganize, restructure and rewrite. Decide on a certain block of time weekly or daily, and take it a bit at a time. You must feel that your characters are worth the effort or you won’t want to finish.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

1 comments on “Before You Rewrite: Breathe

  1. Two dreaded words….start over. Ive had to do that. I dont like it, but I know sometimes it is needed. I am learning through my current process of editing and re-writes that although you need to make changes, you still have to be true to yourself and your voice. It’s a fine line.

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