Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now #273 -- Is Writing Rewriting?

The axiom states that "Writing is rewriting" -- well, in your experience, is it really? 
Or is it the great lie that writing teachers and books about writing try to fool us with?

Dear Lord, yes. Writing IS rewriting for me. 

I'm a firm believer in the Hemingway standard illustrated so vividly in the image shown here. 

And it's not just something I do after a hammer out a first draft. I'm always rewriting as I re-read my stories before a writing session. (You DO re-read your work constantly during the writing process, right? No? Shame on you. Find a wooden ruler and a retired primary school teacher and present your knuckles for your punishment.)

Seriously, I regularly re-read my works in progress as I'm writing, or at least before sitting down to write again, and while doing that I often find not only general copy edits and proofreading errors, but also major, glaring story screw-ups I was too busy writing to notice -- things like changing the spelling on a character's name or forgetting to reference something later that I bring in early in the story

One thing I've learned is that the longer I write and the more I write, the better my early drafts become, but they're still pretty much exactly what Papa Hemingway called 'em. 

Without re-writing, I'd never be published. Not only that, I'd probably be black-listed, de-friended, and relegated to Myspace only. #justsayin'