Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Writing Down the Bones: Rewrites

Oh I found a really good one this time - this came from a handout by Rita Gallagher, who passed in 2004. There is no date on it but most of these handouts have been dated from the 1980's so I believe this is from the same era.

This is about rewrites - but before we start understand what might work for one person might not work for another. Each book is different. It depends on the type of plot, whether it is a contemporary or historical, and how many characters it has in it.

I love what Rita tells us.

First that too many rewrites can do more damage than too little. Someone once told me to use this rule of thumb and it does work. When you get so tired of your ms you want to throw it against the wall consider it done.

Another thing to keep in mind is to trust yourself. We all second guess ourselves, but the more people you ask to read your story the more opinions you will get and they might not all say the same thing. Some of those suggestions could cause more harm than good.

Learn your craft. Take classes, join a writing group that focuses on the art of writing. Buy books on writing, whatever works the best for you.

As your story flows along make sure your characters react when they are supposed to and react properly. They shouldn't under react or over react, and make sure it is logical for your character.

Rita then quotes Somerset Maughn:
Fuss about style
Try to write in a clear and concise manner
Aim for rhythm and balance
Take pains to be simple clear and succinct
Read the sentence aloud. If you stumble, it needs to be re-written.

Keep writing!

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