I'm about to start the second draft of a WIP that has been set aside for a few months. I'm considering doing the edits opposite of how I--and, I suspect, most people--do them.

I read a while back that Raymond Chandler used to circle only the parts he wanted to keep from each draft, then re-write everything else from scratch, instead of fixing the parts he thought could be better.


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It's an interesting idea, but I don't think I could do it. Every time I rewrite something from scratch, it becomes a whole new first--or at best, second--draft. I'd be taking two steps forward and two steps back. Or maybe it would be more like, "Yes, I'll keep this...and this...and this...oh, darn."
That's actually really a good idea. It's the writing, after all.
Hi Dana,

Raymond's approach might get sticky in my opinion. What happens if everything you circled and kept, didn't fit in at all with your rewrites. It would stick out like a root. Also, you might not need to rewrite everything from scratch, LOL. Say everything you rewrote and changed was good and everything you circled was the crap you should have thrown out, LOL. Wow, that's an interesting concept I guess. They say writers all have different ways of editing.

Me, I'm one of those who edit while I am still writing the book. When I take a break from the actual writing, I go back and work on what I've previously written until ideas come back in for me to continue the story. I find it better than just sitting there with a block. Sometimes I get small blocks during my stories and editing helps me out of those blocks so I am all for editing and writing at the same time.

I used to write the whole thing then go back and edit/rewrite all at once. Thought I was doing a good job until I realized that wasn't a good way for me. It might work for someone else but I need to edit/rewrite in spurts.

Also, Raymond's way would be like writing the whole darn book over wouldn't? LOL!

Best Wishes!



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