I've struggled with my introductory scene or my story and both the summary-- I found them too bland and too uninteresting to hook in readers, and also myself. I got a friend to review it a little and they hit the nail on the head perfectly. They were able to describe why I found the scenes boring and gave me directive on how to solve it. I had more than just basic words to work off of. If you think you have to re-write a scene, the bottom line is you think something is wrong with it. But if you keep rewriting, you don't know what is wrong with it. Why can't you make something you'll be able to be proud of? Sometimes we get too much tunnel-vision, and it's best to have a second perspective.
Ofc, everything above is just my general idea. It might actually be different, who knows?
I try to plan enough out before I get started on a story so to keep down the number of times I have to re-write a chapter while drafting. I mean if I'm starting and stalling within the first 5 chapters, I clearly didn't do enough work before hand. And I usually prefer to do hard re-writes once. I revise as many times as it takes to get right. However, hard delete everything and start over, once.
Same with if I finish a novel draft. I re-write once. I don't constantly sit there and spin my wheels. If I didn't get it right the second time, I'm likely not going to get it right a third or a fourth. It wastes my time. Better I just know what I want before hand.
Since then, I've done very little re-writing other than light editing post-writing. I thne have a good friend/beta reader who's really into the story and gives me really helpful suggestions for edits so I usually do another edit round after he's had a read of it.
I've only recently started posting here, so I wonder how influenced I'll be from the community here for future edits.
Maiz Wrote: Does anyone else have this problem?At least your recognize it as a problem, and I would say, as my own opinion, that it certainly is a "problem." Feelings change, what you want now might not be what you want next week or next year. To rewrite an entire story because you feel, in the moment that it's not going in the direction that you want, is extremely unproductive. What if you write a hundred thousand words and then decide, you know, the story would have been so much better if chapter thirteen did x, y and z, but if I rewrite that, that means I need to rewrite the forty-nine other chapters after it.
If you ask me, it's like shooting yourself in the foot. With a shotgun.
So as an example of my own writing, I had some adventurers in "adventurer" school for the first few chapters of one story, and I was quickly becoming bored. I thought I might scrap it all and begin again. But why? I did a time jump, skipped all the school, and stuck my characters in a setting where they were rescuing some newbie adventurers from getting eaten by a horde of slathering rats. On top of that, I made it so they were slightly famous and were known by the name "The Emblazoned Party." And then, as adventurers who had some mettle and experience going forward, I really enjoyed the story a whole lot more, and haven't looked back. No rewrite necessary. Now, one person did complain that the shift was abrupt, so maybe I could have handled that a bit better, but I don't regret it. So what if the story is a little flawed to some at that particular juncture. No story is perfect, but you know what? The story now has a story behind the story that the writer (me) can tell. Totally worth it.
I mean, you can treat your story like your baby, shape it, mold it, rewriting it nineteen times, and maybe you'll come to end up with something you absolutely love. But at that point ,you're so far past your original vision, that, is the story even what you wanted in the beginning? Will those constant rewrites really make you like the story move? If so, you should do it. Write what makes you excited and happy. For me, though, I start hating my stories when I rewrite, so I never rewrite, lol.
I’ve read decent web novels that are written and posted same day. But I think it’s rare for writing a web novel that way to approach traditionally written, edited, and published material for obvious reasons, so the above is my compromise.
radraccoon Wrote: I haven't read any of your work but I can assure you that you're not that good. Nobody is.A lot of people are, actually. Mark Lawrence, Jim Butcher, Dean Wesley Smith, Lee Child, almost all of the pulp writers from back in the day. He did say "revise." A touch up draft where you fix spelling and typos can hardly be called a "draft" much less a revision.
I had planned things out for the end of the story too clearly in my head, and it led to me writing the first part of the story poorly, because I was thinking too much about where I was going with the story and not enough about where I was right now.
I started Apocalypse Parenting on a whim, and it's taught me a LOT about myself and how I write. I do multiple rewrite/editing passes on individual chapters before showing them to the public, but I'm not married to one exact ending, so it's easier to stay loose and make each chapter the best it can be. That doesn't mean I have no idea where I'm going - it just means I'm okay with the general events of the ending playing out in different ways. I don't really have a singular Big Bad, but my "plotting" has changed from the equivalent of "character A distracts the Big Bad on the fortress wall while character B prepares a big magic spell and character C holds off Big Bad's Lieutenant" to "protagonists go to the Big Bad's fortress and end the threat somehow."
In the end, I simply stopped for a whole year, took the time to read, watch some big hit movies, tv shows and animes, and in the end, went back to my novel and asked myself: "Out of that whole year, what aspects of stories did I enjoy watching/reading, and what was I fed up?". That led me to how I wanted to read my own story had I been its reader and not its writer.
It was long as heck to find that special moment, but it was really worth it. I'm at my 7th and final revision, and I enjoy every moment of my novel, I enjoy the scenes, the characters, and where the plot is going. I keep on finetuning some key points, but I can say that I'm going straight forward in the plot even of the 2nd and 3rd part of the trilogy, instead of the constant stagnation on the 1st part that I once had.
So my point is: I think you should rewrite as long as YOU are not satisfied with it. If you are not, how can you expect your readers to be? ;) Of course, it helps if you are already pretty much knowledgeable at what you want to write; me, it took 10 years to know what message I wanted to convey beside a plot.
BUT! And I nearly forgot to say this. ALWAYS find one or more people to read the drafts. Their input is tremendously important and will help you keep focus. Many things I revised would not have been possible without external input; and many things I thought were rubbish and needed rewriting were instead a hit and needed no change.
There's the initial idea, then the outline of key plot elements, next I got a hand written chapter, after that comes the typing it up and the fixes, then comes Grammarly corrections, then comes the natural reader version, somewhere in all of the mix a beta reader looks at it and says "it's good" or "it's crap, why are you writing this, go back to working at Subway", next...it's time for possible revisions.
I hang out with my cat.
Then comes the mental rewrites when I should be sleeping and the inevitable "oh crap, I could add that!" statement at 2am. Next comes the adding of the cool bits, and my eyes reread the crap I wrote and the unavoidable "why the hell did I think was good?"
Somehow I drag myself to write the next chapter...rinse, wash and repeat