Friday, September 11, 2009

The Rewrite Process

One of the things every writer needs to figure out is the process that works for them.

How much needs to be worked out in the beginning? A detailed plot, or a vague concept? Characters? Setting? GMC?

Is organization tactile and/or visual, or does the work flow so quickly organization is unnecessary?

What to research first, what as the story is being written, and what can wait for later?

I think the reason one writes in order to learn how to write is as much about finding process as it is about learning craft.

Here's what seems to be working for rewrites at the moment:

I write in scenes rather than chapters. Scrivener (the writing software I LOVE and the driving reason behind my getting a Mac) let's me color-code POV's and save all of my scenes in a binder. By writing in scenes, I can shift them around and easily insert new ones that support my sub-plots.

I printed out my entire SFD. To rewrite, I grab a chunk of it to rewrite the scenes and form chapters—two at a time. (Six done today!) I have a notepad to remind myself of things that need to be tied up and then make the changes in the Scrivener program. My notes are outrageously messy. Ruled paper? What's that for?

Another printout, another review, and a ship to my critique partners for their input.

After this is done, I envision it sitting for a week or two, then a final read-through on my own.

That should give me enough time to have a polished manuscript for the full I'm just sure will be requested at some point after the sit-downs I've got scheduled with agents and editors next week. (From my lips . . .)

OT: Had a wonderful, romantic trip to San Antonio with the Love of My Life to celebrate our anniversary. If you haven't been to the Riverwalk, put it on your list. Just be sure and go during the week, and avoid holidays.

CR: Paranoia by Joseph Finder on my Kindle and loving it. (Marketing note: This was a free download for a period of time as Joe had a new book releasing. He certainly has a new fan in me.)

It's all better with friends.


  1. Can't wait to hear what happens, Peg! (Oooh, sitdowns with agents and editors! How did those happen?) It's so fascinating how different everyone's process is...

  2. Sounds like interesting software. Good luck with those agents and editors.

  3. I"m a big fan of Scrivener, too. Hmmm... I vacillate between writing lengthy outlines and just writing till I run out of story. Too much of an outline and I lose interest; no outline at all and I end up lost.

    Funny you should mention Joseph Finder's book. I'm in the middle of reading it on my iPod. Am loving it, too!

  4. Jenny, my appointments are via the ACFW conference. I had planned on going with my i's and t's ready, but that's not gonna happen. And the early bird session is with Donald Maass. I'm not sure one could ever be ready for him.

    Sheila, I love Scrivener. It's amazing and I know I'm only using a fraction of the program right now. If you have a Mac, it's definitely worth checking out. I think I saw a 20% off coupon through Twitter coupons today.

    And Persia, I know what you mean about holding interest. All I know is I'm at least planning on an outline next time. This has made me nuts. And I definitely can't write SOTP . . . I'd meander away from the story every three words.

    Off to read some more PARANOIA. And hopefully get some sleep.

  5. I think you're bang on when you say ypu think in terms of writing scenes rather than chapters. I agree that this way gives you some flexibility if you want to shift and move around.

    I have never heard of or used Scrivener but it sounds cool and I may check it out!

    Cheers, Jill