Rewrite Issues


I started the rewrite process (draft two) of Hidden People this afternoon. I am so excited; but a few pages into it, I’ve already come across issues, issues, issues.

  1. I had an outline when I wrote the first draft. Things along the way were prone to change. They almost always do. They did. Now I find myself wondering why in the world the male main character has to act like a complete jerk in the beginning chapters. After completing the first draft, I had found a lot more out about him. Now he no longer has a reason to be behaving like he is. At least, I can’t think of one.
    Issue ONE: Need reason for Oskar to act like a jerk. Need to dampen the jerkiness a bit.
  2. Hidden People is a work of Fantasy. That is, it takes place in modern day Iceland, among the realm of the Huldufolk – invisible people, the hidden ones. I ignored world/realm building in my first draft, but they have pretty cool places where they live. I mean, seriously, Iceland is the most awesome setting ever too.
    Issue TWO: Need to explain how the Hidden People live without turning it into a textbook.
  3. My female main character, Australia, needs more depth.
    Issue THREE: Lots and lots of character development for Australia.

I don’t know if this post has just discouraged or motivated me to keep writing. I’ve got lots to do, so I probably should keep writing.

Tell me what kind of issues you often encounter during rewriting/revising/editing processes. Any tips?



18 responses »

  1. For issue 2: You could write some scenes (You don’t have to include them in the finished novel if they don’t fit) about the daily life of characters who live in the cool places. This gives me a better handle on details I can pull out and use without overloading the audience.

    For issue 3: I have this post, which I plan to expand on in the future.

    The main problems I run into in my revision is too much exposition that needs to be cut down, but I deal with a lot of the kind of problems you’re having in my outline process, which is probably different from the sort of outline you’re using.

  2. Funny I should read this post right now. I’m also in the process of revising/editing my last piece of work. As I re-read it, I’m finding that my characters aren’t too clear on what they want. What drives them to do what they do. I’ve touched on the subject, but haven’t made it too clear. I’m finding that I’ve jumped around and not focused on their main goal. Partly I think that’s because I’m a fickle person and change things, promising I’ll fix it later and never do. It’s an overwhelming process. As for tips, I don’t really have any. Maybe if you’re comfortable with it, give your work to someone to read and let them give you pointers. When I’m not sure about something I usually ask someone else for ideas. Even if I don’t use their ideas, it often opens up others. Hope this helps. 🙂

      • Definitely. Even if you don’t use any of the ideas you get, it does help with coming up with others 🙂 Good luck!

  3. Issue ONE: Need reason for Oskar to act like a jerk. Need to dampen the jerkiness a bit. – Talk to him. I’m betting there is a reason he is indeed a jerk.

    Issue TWO: Need to explain how the Hidden People live without turning it into a textbook. – Grab your fav fantasy story & highlight the heck out of any part that is world building. Take notes on how the author snuck it in.

    Issue THREE: Lots and lots of character development for Australia. Again talk to her. Character sheets, interviews etc. Then it will find ways to get into your story.

  4. Just take it one scene at a time. And make lots of notes. I always make a lengthy bio sheet for each of my characters with background, likes, dislikes, motivations, etc. It helps me when rewriting if I come across something that doesn’t make sense.
    For issue two, try inserting a well-crafted paragraph or a conversation where one person is explaining the hidden people to another.
    If you get too discouraged, walk away from it for a while and work on something else. Or try having another writer read it to encourage you and give you tips.
    Most importantly, don’t give up 🙂

  5. Issue one: Does he need to act like a jerk now you’ve written him and known he is not a jerk? Sometimes, a character doesn’t behave according to plan, so you need to modify the plan, not the character.

    Issue two and three: That’s what rewrites are for. lol that didn’t come across as helpful.
    But for issue two, I’d say weave it in when writing. Don’t explain. Let it come naturally. Sometimes, you have to solve this problem by adding more scenes.
    E.g in my current rewrite, I needed to foreshadow a mountain that would be important in my sequel, but there was no way to fit it in without sounding like an info dump, so I had to create an extra scene for it.

    Issue three: Depth could be solved by showing emotions more. But I’m not very sure of this particular answer since I’m struggling with the same issue in mine 🙂

  6. Pingback: #WriterRecharge Update II | H.M. Brooks Writes

  7. It’s such a nice feeling to get a first draft done, and then it can be majorly demotivating to know you have to edit, rewrite etc all over again, but think how amazing it will be when it’s all done. Definately worth all the effort 🙂

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