Re-write or "edit" and tweak?

#1
A tough question, I know, because any number of influences directs the process. Not always a cognitive thing, sometimes a gut feeling. 

But on the occasion where the chapter doesn't just coalesce well, it seems a tad contrived, the dialogue might be a bit clunky.... sometimes you just can't put your finger on it. Basically, the fluidity of putting it to paper just seems to abandon you.

BUT you know this BIT has to complete a necessary connection.

Do you scrap it and rewrite in whole, or do you just muscle through with edits and "fixes"?


Personally, I am a devotee of "the first idea" and shoot to mend and tighten.... and I'm SURE I'm not always right on this... just too dim to know it in the process.

Re: Re-write or "edit" and tweak?

#2
Tales of Teleios is 2nd edition which I kinda re-write most of the things.
Very little original stuffs survived because I removed most of the insane ideas and make the story serious.
Still pretty insane on its own, the great thing about doing a re-write is that I didn't have much "fans" who got offended by my re-writes.
Some authors faced some angry fans for changing their plots. but lucky me, I was such an infamously unknown over the other platform so re-writing it shall be no problem at all. And I'm pretty happy with the re-write. And will plan for 3rd edition if i found someone who interested to be the editor. 
FancyDrakan

Re: Re-write or "edit" and tweak?

#6
I deal with problematic chapters on a case by case basis. I will revise, rewrite, break it apart and move the content, or just delete if it is totally worthless.

And I do this on a case by case basis is so I don't waste time thinking if I just stick with revising, a good chapter will come out of it. Nope. I've learned better to not spin my wheels trying to apply a fix that won't work. I learned to stop being afraid of rewriting, because I would go out of my way to avoid it. Not anymore.

What solidified the idea of not being afraid to rewrite, was a successful rewrite of an entire novel.  My story Edict was the subject of a total rewrite. Same story, but different execution. I kept the original chapter 1, 2, and part of the 3rd. The rest didn't work. When I stopped trying to revise the chapters I flagged for revision, my blinders were removed and I realized everything was a symptom of a larger problem.

The story didn't make sense, I had a POV that brought nothing to the table, a character was acting outside their character, and the story started to go awry after chapter 3. 

So I opened a new file. Copied chapter one and chapter two, with the knowledge I would come back and to copy a split chapter three. And then rewrote the entire story. It's not something I like to do, and I will try to write in a way that I don't get caught having to re-writing. Sometimes it's just unavoidable.

Re: Re-write or "edit" and tweak?

#7

VladThatGuy Wrote: Do you scrap it and rewrite in whole, or do you just muscle through with edits and "fixes"?
It depends on the chapter. Sometimes it can be revised, sometimes it needs to be burned with fire and started over completely. It's instinct, something I can feel when I go to do my final posting pass, a 'this is going the wrong way, start over' or 'hmm, this needs something, but is largely fine'.

In the past month I've done both types more than once. I have whole perfectly fine chapters that just aren't right and needed to be redone, and chapters that were fine but not quite there and needed to be added to or adjusted. It's not something I could prescribe, it all depends on how you want the story to go and what matters for its progress.

Re: Re-write or "edit" and tweak?

#8
It really depends.  Let's say your dialogue sucks and your chapter needs help.

You really have to examine the bones/structural integrity of it.  For example, if you write a conversation that needs to get from point a to point b, like your characters make a meaningful breakthrough.  Was it the way they said it? or was it the entirety of the conversation?

If it was just your word-choice, then edit.  If the entire conversation is contrived then it probably should be rewritten and may even lead to a different outcome

Re: Re-write or "edit" and tweak?

#9

LJ Wrote: I deal with problematic chapters on a case by case basis. I will revise, rewrite, break it apart and move the content, or just delete if it is totally worthless.

And I do this on a case by case basis is so I don't waste time thinking if I just stick with revising, a good chapter will come out of it. Nope. I've learned better to not spin my wheels trying to apply a fix that won't work. I learned to stop being afraid of rewriting, because I would go out of my way to avoid it. Not anymore.

What solidified the idea of not being afraid to rewrite, was a successful rewrite of an entire novel.  My story Edict was the subject of a total rewrite. Same story, but different execution. I kept the original chapter 1, 2, and part of the 3rd. The rest didn't work. When I stopped trying to revise the chapters I flagged for revision, my blinders were removed and I realized everything was a symptom of a larger problem.

The story didn't make sense, I had a POV that brought nothing to the table, a character was acting outside their character, and the story started to go awry after chapter 3. 

So I opened a new file. Copied chapter one and chapter two, with the knowledge I would come back and to copy a split chapter three. And then rewrote the entire story. It's not something I like to do, and I will try to write in a way that I don't get caught having to re-writing. Sometimes it's just unavoidable.
Good response, thanks.


I haven't run into that quite so broadly, but I get your point. Takes some salty skin to do that I must admit. BIG congratulations. 

My takeaway is the idea that the "trouble" might be trying to stick with the original thought on chapter's execution. This is something I usually trust implicitly. It may actually be "easier" wisdom for a rewrite... if, after all, I'm putting down 80 - 100,000 words, a new chapter is probably a better, fresher approach, and would turn into LESS work when compared with the feeble sense of "fixing" something over and over.

Re: Re-write or "edit" and tweak?

#11
So, like, once the bun comes out of the oven, there isn’t much left to do besides add extra seasoning and maybe decorate to cover the cracks and burns.

Err. All you can do is add seasoning and decorate once you’ve taken the bun out of the oven.

Or else, once… meh.  

Then there's the whole "perfection doesn't exist, therefore perfection is found only in flaws" argument. Or maybe apply that one philosophy, "NOTHING MATTERS!"

Whatever works for you, I say. No, that isn't right. I say, whatsoever works for you. Maybe: dude, work it if it works.

Sigh. What Imma tryin' ta say here is that when — best you can surmise (because you aren't/weren't a lit major) — words and wordings lack the proper flow, then play with the words! 

Words really can't hurt you, please avoid murdering them at all costs. Rehabilitation really works! Educate the words, work the words until they change and transform into a better fitting element within the hierarchy of their specific segment in written society.

Syntax is the beast needing slain! And don't get me started on pragmatics! Grrr! (Even though I will use situational pragmatical issues associated with meanings in context within dialog.) So, to where A explains to B the what-what. Possibly the almighty reader, but certainly B utterly misunderstands, and calamity ensues. Not the author's fault B didn't ask for clarification!

Therefore, what I mean is—no, if I haven't well expressed the gist by now, then I should probably give up and go back to the corner over there in the dark.

DrakanFix

Re: Re-write or "edit" and tweak?

#12

DW Wrote: So, like, once the bun comes out of the oven, there isn’t much left to do besides add extra seasoning and maybe decorate to cover the cracks and burns.

Err. All you can do is add seasoning and decorate once you’ve taken the bun out of the oven.

Or else, once… meh.  

Then there's the whole "perfection doesn't exist, therefore perfection is found only in flaws" argument. Or maybe apply that one philosophy, "NOTHING MATTERS!"

Whatever works for you, I say. No, that isn't right. I say, whatsoever works for you. Maybe: dude, work it if it works.

Sigh. What Imma tryin' ta say here is that when — best you can surmise (because you aren't/weren't a lit major) — words and wordings lack the proper flow, then play with the words! 

Words really can't hurt you, please avoid murdering them at all costs. Rehabilitation really works! Educate the words, work the words until they change and transform into a better fitting element within the hierarchy of their specific segment in written society.

Syntax is the beast needing slain! And don't get me started on pragmatics! Grrr! (Even though I will use situational pragmatical issues associated with meanings in context within dialog.) So, to where A explains to B the what-what. Possibly the almighty reader, but certainly B utterly misunderstands, and calamity ensues. Not the author's fault B didn't ask for clarification!

Therefore, what I mean is—no, if I haven't well expressed the gist by now, then I should probably give up and go back to the corner over there in the dark.

DrakanFix
...and all this time, I thought syntax had something to do with April 15th!


Well, how do ya like that?

:)

Thanks for the array of answers. You pretty much covered the waterfront! :)

Salute, mate!

Hope your words are treating you well!