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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rewriting: III Scenes

A real writer identifies her least memorable scenes and takes them out. Then a real writer scrambles to figure out what in the #!!% to do next.

I meant to blog this morning. It's Thursday and that's my second blog day of the week, Monday being the first. (My attempt at organization in 2010) Then I started this triage on my manuscript and kaboom. Suddenly I had a September event coming before a February one in the same year. I had the motivation for an action in Chapter 10 floating around in a different Chapter 15. It's taken the day to sort it out, but I think the process worked.

Here's what I did:  I took my least memorable scene and cut it, keeping only the pieces that I needed to maintain the threads I had going. Then I moved to my second least memorable scene and cut it. I repeated this process three times. In the end I put back one scene with a major rewrite and fitted the bits I needed from the other two into places where they were more effective.

I've been on and on about what a "real does" when it comes to rewriting,  and today I have one more thing to add. A real writer knows where her butt is.


  1. I am always amazed at your ability to slice, dice and rearrange. You are a great rewriter.

  2. Thank goodness. I'm a lousy first drafter!

  3. In reading all these wonderful writer's blogs, I'm beginning to realize, each of us has her/his own way of writing/revising. I beginning to realize there is no right or wrong way. It's what works for you, for me, that matters.

  4. I'm impressed you can identify the "least memorable" scenes and actually have the courage to cut them out. I love cutting, but it takes me a loooong time to figure out which scenes I don't actually need.

    Great picture, by the way. :-)

  5. Wow, interesting to see how you approached it. I'm going to keep it in mind for my next revision.

    I also found it helpful to make a chapter by chapter summary of the book. If the chapter does nothing to move the action forward, I cut it. It's embarrassing how many chapters are just fluff and how they aren't even missed.

    Thanks for making me look at things in a different way.

  6. It sounds to me like you got some serious revising done. So yay! As for blog days, I've decided to blog a few times a week when I'm ready, not to set specific days. That way there is no pressure when other things need to be done.

  7. The summary idea is great. That way you can see the flow of the book. And, Bish is right. Everyone has a way that works best for them. I've never rewritten like this before, so maybe I think I do it differently depending on the book.


  8. I love your last observation, "A real...knows where her butt is." Too true. Can you get tendonitis there, because I think sometimes I'm working on it. Good luck w/ the rewrites!

  9. Genial fill someone in on and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.

  10. Oh I love this method you have and I'm going to do that on my first round of revisions!

    Thanks for the great info and post.


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