Writing Tip: Re-writes


Since I finished re-writing my novel, Whispertown, for NaNoWriMo, I thought I would share my tips for having a successful one. Here’s what helped me:

1. Before you begin the re-write, read your original draft and make notes on what you want to change or add.

I’ve found this to be super helpful before I begin. If you’re not sure what to change or add, find some beta readers to give you some ideas on how to make your novel stronger and incorporate them into your re-write.

2. Keep your original draft open when you begin your re-write.

Having the original draft open for me to refer to while re-writing was a lifesaver for me. While I only kept maybe 10-20% of the original writing, it helped keep me on track as well as show me how better the changes were working in the re-write.

3. Save your re-write separately.

It should be common sense for you to save your re-write as a different file, but I’ve actually talked to someone who saved over their original. If you save over your original, it will be harder to compare it to your re-written version. Plus, wouldn’t you always want to hold onto your original or is that just me?

4. If something isn’t working, change it!

If there’s a part in your novel that just isn’t working, it’s probably best to change it until it does work.

5. When you finish, let it sit for a while before giving it another edit.

It’s best to take a break from your work before attempting to edit it again right after. This will make it easier for you to spot errors and maybe even change or add something else to the finished work. You could send the re-write to beta readers in the meantime. It’s easier to catch errors if you have multiple readers and if they read the original draft, they can tell you whether or not the re-write was successful and if anything needs work.


Have you ever re-written one of your works? If so, did you feel it was successful? What tips would you give someone who was starting their own re-write? Anything different from what I’ve suggested? I’d love to hear from you. And if you have any suggestions for future writing tips, post them!


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