Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Start to Finish (Part 8 of 10)

Ignore the manuscript for a time.

Many writers feel exhilarated or relieved when they write the final word and want to get it to the editor or agent. Resist that urge. Look at it again critically. Does this sentence make sense? Did I explain it thoroughly? Did I over-explain?

After I close the file on a manuscript and leave it a few days, perhaps as long as a month, I've always improved it. I use the absolute always because I mean without exception.

When I return to the material, I read it with new insight because the material has been churning in my unconscious mind. (I intentionally put the previous sentence in the passive voice. I could have written: My unconscious mind churned the material, but the emphasis was on the action (churning) and not on the actor (my mind). This is an extra tip.

Write to get the story written; rewrite to improve the quality.

1 comment:

  1. Cec, thank you for your wisdom. I'm relatively new to writing (one novel completed in three years), and I am so happy to have found your blog.

    After getting over my naive assumption that I could write something that would be good enough to publish on the first try, I discovered the pleasure of rewriting to improve and craft the story. I've employed a couple of professional editors along the way and I'm beginning to understand how very little I know about the art and craft of novel-writing. But I love seeing small improvements every day.

    Thank you for your insight and guidance.

    Kay DiBianca


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