Let’s play ditch, rewrite or edit!

Yes I know, I’m like a bus.  You wait ages for one and then three posts come along at once.  What can I say, I’m in a particularly ranty and chatty mood.  Make the most of it, I’ll probably disappear for the next two months.  Well, I’ll try not to, but you know how it is 🙂

Anyway, enough rambling.  I’ve been reading through the third book (again) and have decided once and for all that I hate bits of it.  Not hate in the same way that I hated Pterodactyl, but close.  Not all of it you understand, I still like the first couple of chapters, but everything after that doesn’t feel right.  I can’t quite explain it and it’s probably because I’ve spent so long doing other things and not writing, but somethings wrong.

So I have three choices here that I can see.  Each has their merits and each has their downfalls.  I’m not expecting by the way for anyone to give me some sort of magic bullet here since the only one that can do that is me, but I thought I’d share it with you anyway.  Like Facebook updates you’re going to know whether you care or not.  Although you could just stop reading of course…..

So what to do.  I’ve written nine chapters including the end and I’m okay with the first two and the last one, but that leaves me with six chapters that I don’t like.  There are bits I do but most of it is just not where I anticipated going, or for whatever reason isn’t quite there.  Back to the three options :


Option one of course is to take those six chapters, select them, hit delete and save the document.  Problem solved, gone.  Puff.  9000 words disappearing in less time than it would take Usain Bolt to run the 100M.  Drastic of course, but the advantage of this is that I start off with a fresh slate.  I’ll sit down and read the first couple of chapters and let it flow from there.

Of course the downside of this is that I might end up writing exactly the same guff as I started with in the first place, in which case I’ll have spent a large amount of time getting absolutely nowhere.


Now, dependent on what you consider ‘a rewrite’ will determine how drastic this is.  To me a rewrite is taking the core of what’s there and substantially re-working it in some way so that it’s basically the same plot but better.   The problem here of course is that if I don’t like what’s there in the first place how can I rewrite it in such a way that’s going to make me like it.    It’s the basic IT adage of GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out.  If I liked those chapters enough I’d probably take this option, but I don’t think that’s going to work, no matter how I rewrite it I think it’s still going to be tosh.


The least work but the least productive as well in my opinion.  To me editing is minor tweaks, changing sentences, words or the way it flows and that simply isn’t going to work in this case.  Chapters 1,2 and the final chapter would be okay with that treatment but not the others.  Beyond redemption is probably how I would describe them.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are bits of the chapters that I do quite like, but when I say bits I mean bits – paragraphs, certainly no more than half a page here and there so I’ve decided to kind of do a bit of all three.  I’m going to ditch most of the chapters, but there are elements I’ll retain but rewrite and there are a few bits I’ll leave in and edit.  I would think of a new word for this that incorporates all of them, but as I sit here on a rainy Sunday night in the UK watching the Olympic football I can’t, to be honest, be bothered.

I have to admit to being slightly annoyed that I let it get to the point it did without realising what was happening, but life got in the way of writing it and it’s only now that I realise it’s just not what I wanted.  I guess it could have been worse though, I could have ploughed on and got to the end and then decided that it needed serious alteration and that would have been even more demoralising.  Even though I was hacked off that work got in the way of my hobby I guess I should be thankful really since it’s probably saved me a whole host of other problems.

So back to the manuscript and the new sport of the 40 page delete which I’m hoping to do in world record time……


4 comments on “Let’s play ditch, rewrite or edit!

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