How to Separate the Writers from the Wannabes

How do you know if you are a real writer?  That’s the kind of question that writers ask themselves all the time.  The answer that you hear most often is that writers write.

But there’s another answer.

If writers want to publish, they rewrite and the most difficult rewriting of all is rewriting from editorial comment.  Rewriting is such an important skill that its what I wrote about in my 2/18 Muffin post.

This week, a healthy chunk of my time will be spent rewriting.  I have 11 activities due tomorrow.  I have critique group Saturday which means that I have to have 20 pages of my young adult ready to go.

This will all be rewriting based on my own observations.  That’s tough because I have to spot potential problems myself.  What do I look for?

In the activities, I look for illogical order.  If I’ve written something to the effect of “cut out the pattern but before you do that…”, then I need to change the order.  I also look for “oops to late” places.  You know, the kinds of places where you need to warn someone about a tricky step or not to throw something away (you know, like the pasta water you sometimes need to save).

In my fiction, I look for places that need more.  More and deeper characterization.  Setting details.  A bit of transition.  In part, I think this problem comes about because I write so often for younger readers but I write lean and tight.  Sometimes too lean and tight.

Whatever your “rewrite issues” happen to be, good luck in your rewriting.  It is, after all, a necessary activity for all of us who are real writers.


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