Put It Aside and Begin Again
Generally, if you read guides or articles on the process of rewriting, the idea of starting again from the beginning almost always comes up. This is good advice and this is where this article is going to begin. It is not bad or shameful to begin afresh with a text.
Whenever a seasoned writer starts the process of revision, they often save their last draft, put it in a file, and start writing a fresh document. If they wish to save a particular section, some of the language, or an important stage in their paper’s direction, they copy and paste it into the new draft they are working on. Mostly, however, they start writing afresh from scratch. If you are like most writers, the next version will start flowing more quickly and more cohesively; your words and characters will start speaking more clearly and all the overly fussy and excessive explanations will remain where they rightfully belong i.e. in the previous draft you filed.
The most popular theory on why this is the best approach is:
- A writer’s brain has to work hard to grasp the rules of an assignment, understand their characters, and figure out the next stage when they are working on a first draft. In addition, additionally, they have to understand the flashes of inspiration that start hitting them as their work starts taking shape.
- Those moments of inspiration, however, often become buried under the extremely laborious task of attending to the layout so that both they and their readers can understand the unfolding story.
- Thus, when they get around to the next version, they have absorbed the rules and can write more freely about the topic they are now beginning to know well. Of course, the process takes an awful lot of time, but it is very worthwhile.
Have Doubts but Trust Your Instincts
A lot of experienced writers believe there are two key elements within an incomplete draft, which are:
- The writer’s ego
- The flow they find
The process of rewriting can proceed when a writer figures out what is important and dumps anything from their ego that is of no use. Virtually every writer tends to find it difficult to discard those flowery descriptions they have written, or those parts of a plot that they cleverly rework from an earlier project. The point is that no matter how smart, descriptive, or beautiful those pieces might be, they do not matter if they are not relevant to an assignment.
Things to Bear in Mind
- Do not put too much trust in adverbs or adjectives – ever!
- Most characters have a special way of taking voice and speaking, and no two sounds alike or say the same thing.
- A good rule of thumb is to try something and see how it works, e.g., if you are wondering whether to try some new technique, use some particular words, or set your story on another planet.
- Be ruthless about cutting stuff out. Keep only what is necessary. Readers (or writers) do not want to get stuck on something that has already passed.
One final thing worth mentioning is that it would be good if there were more rewriting. For the majority of people, there is a view that a written piece is a one-off. People write on their own, read on their own, and revise on their own. When a written piece is finished, it is handed in, and maybe it will even get published.