Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer ~ Author site:

The Pits of Rewriting: A Song and A Checklist

My summer schedule allows for more writing time. I assumed, with all those extra hours, I would make steady progress on my rewrite project. Instead, I experience mind-blowing breakthroughs, while at the same time drag along in the pits of a muddy mess.

ADD mindSome days I’m smiling as I rework sentences and tighten lagged pacing in my manuscript. Other days I feel stressed about the plot taking on bigger changes than I anticipated. Doubt sets in. Have I altered it too much? Have I not gone far enough? Maybe my original story is fine… maybe it’s not and that’s why I decided to rewrite in the first place.

The events of my rewrite ring in my head like a song: I’m on a roll, yeah, yeah. My story’s better, yeah, yeah. Wait a minute, yeah, yeah. Making changes, yeah, yeah. On a roll again, yeah, yeah. Wait a minute, yeah, yeah. There’s a checklist? Whoa, what?

rewrite checklist writers write

On one of my doubtful days, when I wasn’t feeling very “on a roll again, yeah, yeah,” I ran across a rewrite checklist for authors: It was long. It was specific. It was intense. And I felt like I might never finish my story until I returned to school and relearned how to write.

However, I am a teacher myself, which makes me an inspirer of students to persevere. I was not about to give up. So, I printed the checklist and pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose. I could do this. I can do this. I will do this.


Because I have altered the opening of my story, and changed some of the timing, I am starting from the beginning and pacing myself along. I am pleased with my first two chapters, finally. The good news, these two chapters incorporate several other chapters from my original story. That’s a win for me, always needing to shorten the overall length. I am going to take that positive hoorah and use its energy to continue onto chapter three, using the checklist as my guide. Thank you Amanda Patterson from Writers Write. There are other helpful authors and articles on the Writers Write website:


Although my hopes are medium-high… I am one hundred percent invested. I feel like I owe it to myself and my characters to see this project through. And overall, I am still smiling through much of the work, which I believe is the point. Writing is a process, and this is just part of the ride. I supposed my little tune that plays in the back of my mind provides the rhythm along the way.

need help

Writing Advice: I need it this time!

How do you approach a rewrite? What are your suggestions for making it an efficient process? You can private message me through my Facebook link below (in the black section at the bottom), or in the comments for this post. I am honestly interested in how other writers handle this kind of writing.

By Celaine Charles, July 7, 2018


Image and Content Links: (Amanda Patterson, Writers Write checklist and blog site)Image and Content Links: (Writers Write Website) (ADD mind picture) (Rewrite Checklist from Writers Write) (perseverance) (hope) (give advice) (need help)



Categories: Thoughts on writing...

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4 replies

  1. I personally don’t like rewriting my stories too many times. I usually write a first draft and then rewrite it once or maybe twice, and then I’m more or less done. I’ll read through it and tweak it slightly if I see something I need to change or get feedback on it, but then I generally try to move on to a new thing. I don’t know if this is good advice or not, but it’s how I usually do it. I think that you can never make your story perfect, but you can make it complete to the point that you’re telling the story you want to tell. That’s the most important thing to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like I got there twice and then still doubted the story I wanted to tell. I’m more solid with poetry. I think once I get one full novel complete, I will feel better and make my process more efficient. Thank you though, your insight has helped me to decide the story and to just plain say it. Easier said than done. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhhh, rewriting. Some people love it – and some people love to go sky diving, so there. Hahahhaa. I’m currently finishing up my second memoir. I’ve had friends look at it, changed things because my grammar is not spectacular (even for an English teacher!), and have sat on it for a while. I think Stephen King’s advice on “putting the manuscript away for months” really is good advice. It creates distance and when you look at it again, the chances of you seeing it w/ fresh eyes increases.

    This time around for the re-read, I decided to read it backwards – as in I started with the last chapter and worked my way to the beginning. I did this to motivate myself, and also I feel like the beginning is older and I’ve looked at it more, if that makes sense. I also wanted to try something different -and I was able to catch more “repeats” – things I had said or thought I said. It helped. I think! I hope!

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow – I believe I’ve heard of that before (reading your manuscript backwards). I had forgotten about it. I will give it a try when I’m done revising. This story really has sat since last Fall, so just diving in and making it brilliant (ha ha – I hope). Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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