When do you rewrite your novel? As you go along? After each chapter? After a few chapters? Or when you complete the first draft?
If you rewrite after you go along, it can slow down finishing the novel’s first draft. You are constantly changing words, thinking of better words or phrases, deleting scenes, and on and on. You may easily lose your train of thought. The best way here is to keep on writing and if you just can’t come up with a better word or phrase, do as I do put “word” in brackets. Bold or red it if you like.
After each chapter or a few chapters? Yes, and no to rewriting. Most, if not all of us will not finish a novel in one sitting, so you are going to have to go back to it constantly. This will involve reading at least the previous chapter. or at most, the chapters written in your last writing session. During this time, I do make a few word changes or even scene changes. The latter often comes from getting a better idea – either between the last writing session and this one or as I read. Or sometimes the main characters from the Beyond series take over with what they think is best. Dana Bowman,one of the fraternal twin PIs is definitely good at this. But other characters, such as her brother Bast Overture, also speak to me. This can be a good thing because maybe you stopped writing when you reached an impasse or you knew something you had just written didn’t make sense to your plot and/or what your characters would do.
To continue last week’s post on outlining or not. I mentioned that I constantly go up and down the screen to fix inconsistencies. So that means I do some rewriting as I go along there. I find if I don’t fix the inconsistency when I and/or my characters figure out how to do so, it will affect the rest of the plot. SometimesI have to add something – such as bringing in some of the characters’ suspicious’ actions so when I out them as guilty of something later on it doesn’t hit the reader in the face, leaving them wondering “Where did that come from?” “Or “there was no indication of this earlier on.”
So to answer the question, yes, I do some rewriting as I go along – but after I’ve written a few chapters – but I will also do several rewrites after I finish the first draft.
The process is all subjective – whatever works for the individual writer.
How and when do you rewrite your novel?
Sharon A. Crawford
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