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Thursday, June 25, 2009

What I Learned From First Manuscript Crit - Part V


Fact 7: Learn To Love Rewrites. You Might Have To Do Many Of Them

Surprisingly, this was one of the easiest things to learn over this long haul. I thought I would hate rewrites with a passion (and you probably do to a certain extent when you are contracted and writing to very short deadlines).

But I love the rewrite process. Wish I was smart enough to get it right on the first draft, but I enjoy the rewrites and watching the novel move closer and closer to the story I want it to be.

And there’s no point in getting all worked up over a rewrite anyway. No matter who you are and what talents you have, chances are you’ll have to rewrite at least a few times before publication.

I’ve heard other writers complain after a critique, “You mean I have to write it again?”

Well uh, yeah. That is if you want it to be the best it can be.

But then don’t go to the opposite extreme and rewrite the story into oblivion. You do need to send it out some time, ya know. 8-)

Fact 8: Popular Misconception May Give Readers A Different Impression Then What You Intended

This is somewhat related to Fact 4 on the list. But in this case, I’m referring perhaps more to stereotypes than misconceptions. It is easy to be full of misconceptions about westerns, to be sure.

For those of us who, ahem, have been a round a while, we’ve seen countless shows portraying Native Americans riding to war with long war lances. Or burning their dead on a high funeral pyre. Some did. Some didn’t.

There are also military stereotypes and commonly held beliefs about their practices.

And in story world, as author, no matter how you write your scenes or information, it may not ring true to a reader because they have their own ideas about how certain things should work and what from their standpoint are the facts.

This really can’t be avoided. You can only craft the best story you can, taking care that your character motivations and your scenarios are as believable as they can be and hope you strike a balance that satisfies the reader.

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