Monday, 14 November 2011

The Joy of Rewrites

You want your rewrites! I've got your rewrites right HERE!

Like many writers I approach the prospect of rewriting my work with emotions that run the gamut from fierce dislike to fear and loathing. Nobody I know likes to rewrite, particularly to order, and those that do need to be kept under observation. Remember the strange guy who's neighbour's say (while the police dig up his back garden) he seemed like such quiet man, kept himself to himself? That's the kind of person who likes doing rewrites.

The reason for disliking rewrites are reasonable and sound. In the first instance my work was perfect when I handed it in - you can't improve upon perfection and thus any suggestion that you can is not only personally insulting but also an offence against god himself!(1)

In the second instance by the time I've finished a novel I'm so tired of the material that the mere thought of going back to it make me physically sick. Like all wounded animals a writer will become vicious if pushed - like terrorist bomb-makers fiction editors are a profession signified by missing fingers.

In the third instance just as fat man immediately forgets his last meal and starts dreaming of the next(2) so an author is already working on the next book. I don't know a writer who doesn't start thinking about the next book even as he's struggling with the last half of the first, possibly because he is struggling.

The real problem with rewrites is that sooner or later, just like George Takei, you will have to fucking do them. Unless of course you get rich enough to afford the famous Protection from Editors CardTM.

(1) The theological argument is as follows: since only God can be perfect and my first draft was perfect then I must be god QED.

(2) Trust me on this.


Anonymous said...

(OK, let's try that over here in the right place this time...)


(...and job done. =:o} )

P.S. The captcha I have to type in to make this comment is "spogible". I just thought you should know that. Also, I shall expect to see this word in your next book. [SINGLE FIRM NOD]

Fiona Pymont said...

Agree with every single one of your points - and deeply sympathise with your pain and frustration into the bargain.

I've just finished the second draft of the Final Project for my MA course in scriptwriting - and must admit it's been an absolute bloody B*GGER.

Not surprisingly at all, I've already started the prepation for the next work ...