3 Reasons Not to Rewrite as soon as You Finish a Draft

Feeling like a champion!

I just finished the first draft of my cozy mystery. Monday, I finished the last chapter. Then I wrote a new first chapter because by then I had a pretty good idea where I should have started my story.

Maybe that’s why it was so tempting to immediately begin my rewrite. Fortunately I know better. Sure sometimes I have a deadline and I don’t have a choice but it is better if I can let the manuscript sit for a while before I rework it. There are three reasons why I do this.

Distance

When I finish a manuscript, what I planned to write is still very clear in my mind. I have to spend some time away from the piece so that I gain some distance. With this distance, I can see my writing with…

Fresh Eyes

These freshe eyes enable me to see mistakes in my work. I meant for my character to be uncertain about herself, but she is absolutely wishy washy. That’s going to make it hard for readers the sympathize with her. My setting? I can picture it in my mind but I haven’t provided the details that will bring it to life for my readers. More often than not, if I’m being honest with myself the list of things that need to be fixed is LONG. Fortunately, distance also means that I am …

More Willing to Fix What Needs to Be Fixed

If I start rewriting right away, I find that I am more likely to ignore some of the things that need to be fixed. They just don’t seem that bad. Or maybe the problem is that I’m just not in the right frame of mind to tally up that list. I just finished it!

That’s why it is important to celebrate these small victories and move on to something else. In a few weeks I can come back to this and be ready to do what needs to be done. But tonight – I’m a champion doing something else!

–SueBE

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