Monday, August 25, 2008

How do you re-write a story?

So I wrote a story (actually I have written dozens of them.) Now comes the fun part. The re-write.

This is the part of the story that every writer dreads and some never do at all. We call those people, unpublished. This isn't just checking over your story to make sure you have all of the commas and periods in the proper places. Although that is part of it.

No, the re-write is really to make sure you haven't killed off a character twice,unless they are a zombie and then it is okay. This is to make sure the flow is well, that the story makes sense within the story.

I am sure that this sounds pretty elementary but it is very easy to forget that, although you wrote it, it is still a stream of conscience that you are putting down in your fabulous word processor. Chances are very good that it didn't come out right the first time. There is a good chance it won't come out right the second time.

Oh, crap you are saying to yourself. Two re-writes. If you are lucky.

The re-write is the time to think about point of view. Is this the most effective or just the most convenient point of view (POV for all of you writing students out there.) It is also the time to figure out tense. Does the past perfect work best or does the present work well into your pre-Columbian drama?

Dialog is something that almost always needs help in the re-write. Unless you are Mark Twain and can pick up diction like no one else the flow of the dialog will probably need help. Does that sentence make sense in the story? Does it move the story along or is it just stuck there to take up valuable ink and space on the page?

Now that I am done ranting about the re-write, I had better get going on my own.

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