April 26th, 2012 by Diana Peterfreund
Revising vs. Rewriting

Revising: Your printed out draft is covered in red ink.
Rewriting: You didn’t even bother printing it out.

Revising: The editor letter says, “I need to see more of the heroine’s motivations in chapter 4-7.
Rewriting: “I need to see more of the heroine’s motivations in chapter 4-7. Oh, and dump the other chapters.”

Revising: “How do you feel about adding a POV?”
Rewriting: “How do you feel about changing the POV?”

Revising: At the booksignings, you talk about how pleased you were that the climactic scene is almost word-for-word the same as when you wrote it.
Rewriting: At the booksignings, you don’t necessarily recognize the scene the reader is asking you about.

Revising: One of your critique partners asks what happened to the dog.
Rewriting: One of your critique partners asks you when you started a new manuscript.

Revising: “You need to do more to reveal the rules of this fantasy world.”
Rewriting: “Wait, this is a fantasy?”

Revising: “So if you can get the final to me by next month…”
Rewriting: “I think 2015 looks like a good release year…”

Revising: Major surgery.
Rewriting: You guys have read Frankenstein, right?

Revising: “Hi, family. Here’s the number for the pizza place.”
Rewriting: “Daddy, does Mommy still live here?”

Revising: A glass of wine with dinner.
Rewriting: A pitcher of margaritas for breakfast.

Revising: “So, how’s the book going?”
Rewriting: Back slowly out of room. Don’t make eye contact.

Revising: You’re not a failure as a writer. You just need to fix some stuff.
Rewriting: You’re not a failure as a writer. You’re not a failure as a writer. You’re not a failure as a writer. You’re not a failure as a writer…

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5 comments to “Revising vs. Rewriting”

  1. A. McKay
     · April 26th, 2012 at 10:03 am · Link

    I got tears coming out of my eyes, that was funny. So what does it mean when the agent says “I think it is a good story but I don’t feel like it is right for me and give you 100% of my time.”

    I so wanted to reply, that 10% is fine with me. Instead I am doing that whole don’t make eye contact with anyone, don’t make eye contact, oh cr** I made eye contact.

  2. Diana Peterfreund
     · April 26th, 2012 at 11:01 am · Link

    I think that definitely means that the agent won’t be any help to you. The dirty secret of agenting is that, hard as it is to believe, an unenthusiastic agent is WAY worse than no agent at all. An ineffective agent can actually do serious damage to your book’s chances by pitching to the wrong people, pitching it the wrong way, shotgunning, and sounding lackluster about the book.

    Some agent who doesn’t love what i’m writing is not the agent for me.

  3. Sasha White
     · April 26th, 2012 at 3:11 pm · Link

    Rewriting: A pitcher of margaritas for breakfast.

    That’s not REwriting, That’s writing. 😆

    Kidding. Seriously, I wait until the evenings. I do.

  4. Caryn Caldwell
     · April 26th, 2012 at 6:41 pm · Link

    Oh, my. There are no words to tell you how much I loved this post! So funny and so close to home. Am saving for my next round of revisions, when I’m sure to need a laugh!

  5. Laura Lee Nutt
     · April 27th, 2012 at 4:20 pm · Link

    Absolutely hilarious. Thank you.


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