Wednesday, May 11, 2011

writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting and...

when is enough...enough?  i have nearly 90,000 words typed out on a word document that has been in process since march of 2010.  its the second draft of the original work.  the original work was, in my opinion, a bit stringy.  and now i sit here with only a few more chapters to go and i'm starting to smell a strench coming from somewhere between the ninth and twelvth chapters.  it resembles the smell of garbonzo beans and expired cottage cheese and i'm tempted to just throw the whole thing out.  hit "select all" and then "delete".  forget all about it.  pretend it was never written.  start fresh on a new, white piece of paper. 

what is this?  is there a name for this condition?  didn't i like what i had written the first time i wrote it?  and didn't i like it again when i reread it the next day and the day after that?  then why now, after all this time and work and decrease in eye vision from staring at a computer screen so long - am i so turned off by the work as a whole?

I wish it were possible to step out of my brain for a moment.  to completely erase from my mind all the words, reconfigurations, judgements and expectations that i've ever had for my manuscript and be able to just read it for the very first time.  then, and only then, would i really be able to know if i had something there.  if i nailed it. 

they say its good to step away from your work for a while.  give it a month or two and then return to it with a fresh take.  so this is what i've done.  and now tonight, after many weeks of "stepping away" i am stepping back up to the plate.  stepping back onto the stand.  ready to judge and be judged by no other person than myself.  tonight is the night.  i will pull up my document and give it one more try and then i will make my decision.


  1. Welcome back, Natalie. Nice to "see" you again.

    Personally, I wouldn't delete it. Really. If nothing else it's there for memory's sake.

    If you want to start all over again, you can still do that. Good luck.

  2. Ah, you lost this post, didn't you, when Blogger hiccuped? I can tell by your labels. I had the same problem. The post came back but all the comments went away.

    Hope you're doing better now with your rewriting!

  3. This really is a hard question. I've decided that when my readers are saying that rewrites are just the same to them as what I had before (or worse than before) then I've done too many rewrites. If it's not making it better or adding to the story (even if you cut, just the author getting to know a character better adds to the story)then time to stop.

    Good luck! I'm doing revisions right now and going through the same thing :)