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3 Major Types of Rewrites, and the Big Mistake to Avoid with All of Them

Do you know the different types of rewrites needed for a successful story? Lauren Sapala does a great job of explaining the three major types and how to manage each of them on her blog. Check it out and let us know if you have any hints or cool hacks for rewrites.

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male writer journalist pen paper shield3 Major Types of Rewrites, and the Big Mistake to Avoid with All of Them

One of the first things a writer learns is about the power—and the challenge—of the rewrite. For those writers who assume that everything Ernest Hemingway wrote flowed perfectly out of his pen on the very first try, the illusion is shattered. The more experience a writer gains, the more they know that rewriting is part of the process for all writers. But that doesn’t mean that rewrites still aren’t confusing, overwhelming, or just plain difficult. They most definitely can be all of those things. What can really be helpful is for writers to back up, look at a map, and make sure they’re not going in the wrong direction.

After you finish your first sloppy draft, you can expect to move through a few different phases of rewriting. Here’s a quick overview of the Big 3:

This type of rewrite will benefit the most from critique group feedback or editorial suggestion. Your beta readers can pretty easily tell you which character descriptions were a bit skimpy, and what passages went on and on…and on…and ended up being way too verbose. Fleshing out characters and scenes can be fun, and cutting can sometimes be painful. This is where that old saying for writers came from: “Kill your darlings.” It means that sometimes there will be sections you fell in love with, but that just don’t technically work, are redundant, or don’t align with the rest of the narrative. Regardless of your love for these particular lines, if multiple beta readers are pointing out the same issue and suggesting you cut them, they probably need to go.

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