Writing = Rewriting

Last year while I was in the trenches working on a rewrite of my future noir novelette Girl of Great Price, editor Claire Eddy told me (among other things) that it needed to be "More Sin City and less Roger Rabbit." I followed her advice, and I ended up selling the story to Criminal Element

I tell my students that writing is rewriting, and I share a story the first week of every school year: about me as a kid who hated writing as much as visiting the dentist, who thought his first draft was his final draft, who never wanted to write anything more than once. 

I tell my 7th and 8th graders that their first draft is their sloppy copy, that they're free to vomit out their ideas in whatever messy form they take, that we can always clean them up later. I share with them the importance of re-vision (seeing their work again through different eyes), and then they peer-edit as each other's writing coach, helping their classmates earn the best grades possible.

I've learned to learn from my mistakes. And I hope my students can, too. 

The best part about working with an editor on a rewrite? Almost always, my stories turn out better for it. I've had 54 accepted for publication, and I've been unhappy with only 2 rewrites. In those rare cases, my vision was lost somewhat by the time the story went to print. But in every other case, I've liked the rewritten version much better than my original submission.

I'm working on a novella entitled Immaterial Evidence. It's another future noir crime story featuring Charlie Madison, a detective I created after I was that kid who hated writing second drafts. Musa Publishing has asked for a rewrite. 

Can do.

How about you?
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