Rewriting vs Proofreading: Do you know the difference?

Proofreading RewritingWriters need to know how to both rewrite and proofread their work.  One without the other is only half the job.  But to do both, you have to know the difference.

I always think of rewriting as working on the big picture.

This is when I fix plot and character and setting.  This is the time to solidify theme, work in concrete details and play with the word choice.

For picture books, it is when I make sure the piece is a fun read-aloud.  Are there enough spreads?  Does something concrete happen on each spread?  I also make certain that I haven’t done the illustrators job.

In nonfiction, I play with the introduction and the conclusion.  These are easier to craft once I know where the piece will begin and end.  I also smooth out transitions making certain that I get the reader from one sub-topic to another without any major bumps.

Rewriting is a lot of work in part because I may have to do it 6 or 10 times.  It all depends what I’m writing but whether it is a picture book or a review, I can only fix so much in one sweep.

Unfortunately many writers proof and call it rewriting.  Nope.  Sorry.  If all you do is shift a few commas and fix typos, that is not a rewrite.

Proofreading is the final polish.  This is when you fix spelling, grammar and punctuation.  Unfortunately, these itty-bitty errors can be hard to spot.  For more on how to do that, check out my post for today at the Muffin.



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