Fall in love with writing, not with what you’ve written. ReWriteDr Tip:

In the November Mystery Writers of America newsletter, author Reed Farrel Coleman mentions several mantras writers can use when they get tense about ReWriting.  One especially resonated with me:

Fall in love with writing, not with what you’ve written.

Writing is about rewriting.  That’s the learning process.  That’s the time to take the script/manuscript apart, see what’s working and what’s not and then put it back together.  And then do it all over again and again.  Be willing to cut out sections that don’t work, whether it’s an entire act or one sentence.  Writers fear that if they make changes they won’t know any other way to make it better.  It’s the fear of the unknown which we all experience.  But I say you can make it better. I know this for a fact.  Even though at the time you don’t see how it could be different you can do it.  If you generated the first idea you can certainly create a superior idea.  Give it time but it’s there in your head, you just haven’t tapped into it yet.  That’s what your love affair with writing is all about: Being willing to give up what you have written but have faith you will find a better way to express it.    

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3 Responses to Fall in love with writing, not with what you’ve written. ReWriteDr Tip:

  1. Eric Rudnick says:

    Cool. From the little bit you had on fb, I thought you were gonna advise some version of the old chestnut: “take out your very best line of dialogue, because it’s going to stand out from the others.”
    You’ve heard this, right?
    I always thought this was bullshit advice. You want dialogue that stands out. Better advice would be: “work to have all your dialogue as good as that line that sings. If you can’t, at least people will have one good line to remember, instead of none.”
    What say you?

    • ReWriteDr says:

      @ Eric I’ve never heard of your old chestnut, “take out your very best line of dialogue because it’s going to stand out from the others.” I agree with you. Keep it in there and bring up the rest of your dialogue. That chestnut might come from somebody who is showing their work before it’s ready.

  2. Eric Rudnick says:

    Not much of a chestnut then, is it? But I like your explanation!

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