Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rewrites are painful

The good news: I finally sold a short story, and it should appear sometime in December.

The bad news: I have to trim it down from 5,222 words to 4,803 words.

Ouch.

I must say, of the writing process, the revision must be the most painful. It's necessary, yes, because the first pass is never perfect. But to get from the draft to the final version, you have to go through everything not once, not twice, not three times, but umpteen times.

It's no fun doing it again and again. But each time you go through it, you see a little bit that needs changing. And then another one. And then another.

If trimming was all that's involved, I could have just taken out the adverbs. I actually managed that in my second pass.

The problem is that every little word change also changes the story in subtle ways. As I excised seemingly innocuous phrases, the mental image of the scene would also change. So I have to go back for the next iteration.

All in all, it took two days for the rewrite, and it wasn't a major one at that. Tiring? Absolutely! But it also felt rewarding. As a learning experience, it did show me how much time to allocate for revisions.


7 comments:

  1. Congrats Kuya Dom! Where will this appear in? Oh, and thanks for accepting my LinkedIn request.

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  2. hiya dom, yehey! blowout! wait! is the TF in dollars or pesos? bwehehe!

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  3. Congrats VIS! Please tell us where can we buy a copy of your debut work...

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  4. Congrats Dom!... to quote Michael Crichton (again, because I quoted him in another blog comment :D )... a Novel is never written, it is rewritten... :D

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  5. Thanks, all, for the kind words. It's coming out in a speculative fiction anthology this December 8. There! That's already a giveaway.

    Gilbert: what's a TF? Anyway, it's in pesos.

    Hoop: amen to that!

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  6. 4803 words? Who chose this number? Why not 4802 or 4804?

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