Rewriting Early - syndicated post from @JamesWymore

The following is syndicated from the blog of James Wymore and is posted with permission.

FOR THE BOOK I am working in now, I am taking a different path. The scope of this series will be very broad. So I have a lot of considerations I normally don’t spend much time on. For example, how do you treat a secondary character in the first book who will be the protagonist in a later book?

But one of the biggest differences is that I keep stopping to re-write after only the first five chapters. In the past I have just jotted down notes and left the fixes for future drafts. But I have learned that strategy is not a good one. First of all it causes me to ignore things that need to be fixed and propagate them through the whole book. Second, it makes the rewrite harder because it is now a gigantic text to fix and not just a small portion.


James Wymore

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Maybe I have learned patience. Or maybe I have finally realized its easier to fix things early on. In the past I was excited about getting through the story and having a full book draft done. But now I have finally embraced re-writing. Maybe I’ve done enough of it to not fear and hate it now. I admit it felt like an enemy before. It was a necessary evil. However, having done enough of it at last, I can accept re-writing as a part of the process. In fact, it is the more important part.

I have about 12,500 words done on the book. But I have twice stopped and gone back to re-write those words. And I just realized I have to go back and do even more work on them now. I really want to push forward and unfold the story. It wouldn’t be in my best interest, though. at long last I figured out that correcting course early on saves a lot of backtracking later. I know I will have to come back and work on these five chapters when the draft is done. But fixing them now will save me a lot of work fixing forty chapters later.

So I have finally crossed a threshold. Don’t procrastinate re-writing.