I'm a seat of the pants writer for a reason. I don't want to spend a lot of time plotting and planning and thinking. I just want to write. But we all know a first draft is just that--the first. Usually, it's the first of many.
All of you who enjoy doing rewrites, raise your hands. Hmmm. Yeah, that's what I thought. That one raised hand was just someone stretching out a kink.
Rewrites, at least for me, are an evil, ableit a necessary evil. I want to write my story, be done with it, and move on to the next set of characters demanding my attention.
I just finished the third rewrite of a manuscript I've wanted to submit to a few agents. It was a delicate surgery, determining what to keep, what to remove, and where to bump up the story a few notches. The challenge is to do all of this without losing the essence of the story I wrote in the first place.
I liken the process to that of cosmetic surgery. (Or what I imagine performing such surgery to be like.) You want your manuscript to come out just a little perkier and fresher than it went in. But you want it to be recognizable. You know, not have its eyes up to its hairline, or a smile that won't--can't--fade. You get the picture.
So, how do you manage rewrites? And when do you know the story is finally ready for submission?