Revising vs. Rewriting
We’re halfway through January. So how are you doing with your resolutions and goals? Do you still remember what they were?
Last week, I crossed off a big one. I finished this round of revisions and sent it off to The Agent on Thursday. Sound the trumpets.
No, it’s not “done” yet. But I need a break. I need to clean my house and get my stuff together for my accountant. While I’m taking that break, I figure The Agent might as well take a look at it and give me her thoughts and suggestions. Because right now I feel like I’m bumping around in the dark and could use someone to shine a light on things for me.
Hopefully, the comments I get back will involve only revisions. ONLY revisions. What I’ve just spent the last six months doing was a rewrite more than a revision. What’s the difference? Well, here’s my distinction:
Revising involves tinkering with words, moving scenes around, fixing odds and ends. Since I live in
, the home of the orange barrel,
I compare it to repairing a road. Patch some potholes. Resurface a stretch here
and there. Pennsylvania
But rewriting is starting with a blank page and creating new prose. Yes, I copied and pasted chunks from the older version. But a lot of what I did was completely new. I changed my protagonist’s past, her voice, her outlook on life, and the tone of the story. Or at least I hope I did. That was the plan. To use my roadwork comparison, rewriting is like tearing up an existing highway and laying down a new roadbed. Maybe rebuilding a bridge or an exit ramp.
Revising takes weeks. Rewriting takes months.
So now I wait to hear whether I’ve been successful in my efforts.