19 Aug 2010

On the subject of rewriting

We are in the final stages of our new children's book. The story is in place and working very nicely. It's a horror book, so it has to be dark and spooky - which it is. It can be difficult to know how far we can go before giving the readers scars for life, but at the same time, children are different. Some children love to get spooked, and these books are for just those children. The books a popular with boys, so that's a good thing.
But back to rewriting.
It's a double-edged sword, isn't it? You want your story to be the best it can be, and at the same time you really don't want to go back into it. When I've finished one of my stories, I really don't want to start on page one and start hacking at it. I just want to start on a new story!
Since we are two writers on one story, we have different approaches to this. Anan attacks every word, he doesn't let anything slip away, and uses an hour on one page. I have no patience for that. I run through it, tired from the writing, and I miss the finer points.
I know rewriting is necessary and important. There's only so much time an editor has to use on one manuscript and so it's the writers job to do the best job he/she can do. The rewriting is easily the most important job - apart from writing the story, of course. Otherwise it would be like using a lot of energy on digging out the diamond, and then not bother to cut it.
I totally get that. I just lack the patience. Lucky for my, my wiriting buddy loves words and he loves polishing them until it sounds perfect.
It takes longer and it's really exhausting, but when our manuscript is sent to an editor, there's not that much work left. Editors love that!
And then I can finally start on a new story  without having to stop because of editorial demands.

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