The rewrite

Dear reader and fellow writer,

I think every writer who doubts herself or himself enough has this feeling occasionally: the need to rewrite. It happens when you look back at what you wrote,  a few years ago, perhaps your first book, or the second one, and you see that is not up to the standard you have achieved. That paragraph can be done much better. How did I ever construct that sentence? The list is probably endless. And why? Because you grow as a writer, and then you look back and think “gods, why did I write it THAT WAY? That certifiably stinks!”
But before you jump on the computer and rework the thing that is laughing at you with its crooked sentences and bad puns: think. Think of what people said about that sorry piece of work. Did they like it? And did they like the next book even better? Think about that for a while.

If your readers sort of convinced this way you that your writing is good, why then change what you wrote? Had it been horrible in the first place, your readers would probably have told you so, either by telling you so or by not downloading the book because of the many disappointed reviews. And trust me, if you doubt yourself enough you would have reworked that sucker long time ago when seeing that.

Instead of fretting over reworks, move forward in your writing. How? Sit down and write more. You have seen that you grow as a writer; your fans and readers see it too, and I am certain that they appreciate that. I once had the idea to rework Hilda 1, but decided against that. Because that would mean I would have to redo the others as well, because 1 would be much better than 2, and that is not done. Because the next book has to be better so 2 would need a rewrite too. And then 3! That would get me in a vicious cycle, leaving me with only reworks and no progress in new stuff. Not something the readers would appreciate either, as they want more more more! (Trust me on that, I have seen this.)

It’s perfectly fine to remove blatant errors and huge stupid things in your story. Try to be ahead of that by asking people you trust to read the story as a beta-reader and point out where your story goes wrong, your sentences are crooked and your characters fall out of character. Run spell-checkers over the words to stomp out typos. Do all that before the story hits the digital and store-shelves. Grow, get better. And avoid the rewrite.

2 thoughts on “The rewrite”

  1. You’re so right! I constantly have to resist the urge to go back and re-write my earliest pieces. It’s nice I’ve got better but then I feel that the first few are letting me down.

    Love your advice to take a look at what the other readers have said. Next time I feel the urge to re-write a book I’ll go read my fanmail, good reviews and all the other countless messages on facebook and twitter where someone is saying how much they love what I’ve written.

    You’re also very right on them always wanting more. I had someone tell me on the afternoon of my last book launch that they wanted the next one. He’d already finished the brand new one and thought he’d let me know I just couldn’t write fast enough for him.

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