This week, I’ve decided to continue on rewrites of a project of mine I haven’t touched in months. It’s interesting actually, because up until yesterday, I didn’t feel like I was ready to work on it. I was genuinely concerned that if I’d started working on it last week, or even two weeks ago, that I would manage destroy the good place the project was currently in.
I gave myself time (because at this moment, I’m lucky enough to HAVE time to give myself) and didn’t move on it before I was confident that I could do it justice. I waited an afternoon to give myself a little more distance on the project, rather than making a mess that I’d then have to unpick when I did the next rewrite and create a hell of a lot more work for me.
And these two days, I’ve been really happy with the way it’s coming together.
I remember when I started this rewrite, it was a real battle to get from scene to scene. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m back in a certain headspace or what, but what I’m writing at the moment seems to ebb and flow really well. And I’m discovering how tightly woven my earlier draft was. I’m trying to shave subplots out of it and realise that it links into something earlier or later. It’s frustrating but it’s great fun.
It’s also been a great chance to get back into the world and spend some time with the characters again. I’d forgotten how much fun they were – mostly because I’ve been working on other projects and hanging out with other characters instead – but it seems as though their voices are still ever present and clear in my mind, which is making each tweak easier to accomplish too.
So perhaps if you’re having trouble rewriting, perhaps give yourself a little more time away from it. Don’t be over critical of your work – get someone else to have a look over it and make sure they’re willing to tell you what works and what doesn’t. After all, in a rewrite, it’s just as crucial to identify what works as well as what’s broken.
After all, if you cut out a bunch of plot and character that works, it means the second draft will be a lot less strong and potentially more plot hole-y.
Sorry the post is short this week – but I really am eager to get back to it!
P.S. Don’t forget, if you are rewriting, I run a script-reading service and am more than happy to help you to get from one stage of your script to the next!