In life, they say, there are no rewrites. Seize the moment, for the moment will pass.
In writing, some say, there is nothing but rewrites! Show the moments. Let them stew and simmer for a while. And then rewrite, rewrite and rewrite again.
So often the importance of the rewrite is overlooked – particularly in today’s fast paced world. But, if you do write and you don’t take the time to do rewrites, you’re missing out. Like a good stew, or pasta sauce, taking the time to let your writing sit on the back burner for a while creates nothing but more richness and depth.
I urge you to try it.
After I write a story, whether it’s flash fiction or not, I’ve learned to sit on it for a while. I put the story away, sight unseen for a week, or a month, or heck sometimes even longer. When I look at it again, I am often surprised at the new perspectives I have. You will be too.
Your characters may have evolved, you may have solved that sticky conflict, or your plot may have changed entirely.
Let it. That’s the fun of writing.
I’ll share an example with you.
I wrote a story about a twenty-something woman looking for the love of her life. I wrote it, and I did rewrite it a few days later. And then I sent it off to a flash fiction site. It took more than a month to hear back from the site, and in the meantime, as I was waiting all I could think was how it could be rewritten. Before the story was rejected – and it was rejected – plots had been stewing on my creative back burner. One morning I woke up and a new, much better story flowed onto my screen.
After I got rejected, I resubmitted my new rewritten flash, and wouldn’t you know it, it got published! (List for Love)
(If you read the story, I will let you know the initial version stopped rather abruptly after her dance class… I had felt horrible for such an ending! I had to revise it!)
What about you? Do you rewrite? Do you have any tips or trials with revisions, alterations or complete ctrl-alt-del situations?