On Rewriting

The thing about rewriting is nobody really shows you how to do it.

All through school, you write a paper, you turn it in, you get a grade. If it’s a good grade, no rewrite.

Then you get to be a big kid and you go to classes, and conferences and you read and you read and you read and you learn “All good writing is really rewriting” or something really close to that.

Then your aunt says, “I love rewriting. It’s my favorite part.” And you feel really annoyed at your aunt.

Then you hear an editor say at a conference, “The only manuscript ever in the history of all rewrites that didn’t need to be rewritten in the history of all manuscripts was E.B. White,” and you think…

“Right. So first I write which can take anywhere from 1 year to 15, then I rewrite on my own, reading theories from the handful of authors out there who talk about rewriting, taking out my “is”, adverbs, cutting most if not all, then I agent it, and rewrite again, and get to an editor and rewrite again.”

So I’m wondering—why not just skip ahead to the last step and just rewrite once with the person who is going to profit on it and go from there?

Oh, no. Then you are not a real writer.

Guess one thing is clear. One editor I worked with recently said, “Writers aren’t usually flush” (as in with cash.)

Go figure. But boy are they good rewriters.

And by the way, does James Patterson rewrite (or even write anymore for that matter)? What about Castle? Oh, wait. He’s not real.

Enough procrastination. Back to rewriting First Break.

But I’m not rewriting this. We pick our kingdoms.

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