Requested Rewrite: The Final Step

Don’t forget the final step!
Photo by Carla Schizzi on

Honestly, I feel like I should be sitting back and sipping a tropical drink. I just finished a requested rewrite in four days. Actually, I did the rewriting in three days. Day four? That was reserved for the final step.

Whenever I get a requested rewrite, I quickly skim the comments a day or so before I plan to work on it. That way I have time to think things over. Even if what my editor wants is a good idea, sometimes it takes me a while to process it. What will this change mean?

Then I make the changes. Some editors ask for very little. The request I just got was four comments on 17 manuscript pages. Something like that is pretty easy to keep track of. The one before that was 54 comments on 45 pages. There is no way I can keep that all in my head at the same time.

Does this mean I start on page one and work to the end? Nope. I do the frontmatter – if the book has it. Next I do the backmatter. Then I step into the chapters. But before I return it to my editor there is one last thing that I do.

I read through every change.

That means that I’m reading through their changes and my changes. Part of the reason that I do this is that I’m dyslexic. Track changes can be a bit much for me to decipher. I correct things I missed the first time around. I tighten the parts that I rewrote. I doubt that I’m the only person who writes a wordy first draft.

But the real reason that I do this? I want to make sure that I didn’t miss something. It happens.

Earlier this week, I read through a rewrite and scrolled from the end of the last chapter to the backmatter. And what did I find? I comment requesting that I replace a sidebar.

As I worked on earlier pages, it has been pushed down onto a formerly blank page. I almost missed it! I scrolled back up, reread the chapter and came up with a new sidebar topic. Not only was it better than the original, it expanded on a topic as requested by the editor.

Before you turn in rewrite in, read through it from start to finish. You might find a typo. You might tighten things up. And you might find something that you simply forgot to do.


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