How much rewriting should an author do?

A newbie author asked me how much rewriting should be done. I had a hard time keeping a straight face because the question almost made me double over with laughter. Because there is no right answer and because every writer struggles with how much rewriting to do.

Every writer. Every time.

That said, I’ve had enough experience that I have a way that I rewrite and it’s relatively simple and it works for me. Just for me. Not saying it’ll work for anyone else.

Every time I sit down to write, before I type a single word, I re-read the previous chapter. I do this to remember where I was and so the story will flow.

As I re-read that chapter, I make changes. Usually they are minor changes because I plot ahead of time. But there are always things that need changing. Reworking. Improving. And that’s what re-writing is.

So I do a lot of rewriting but I do it as I write instead of after I complete a first draft. I like it that way because when I finish the book I’m truly done.

Like I said, it works for me. Other writers develop ways that work for them and no two authors have the same system.

 

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