How much rewriting is enough?

Status
Not open for further replies.

jack4321

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2011
Member Type
Other
Native Language
Bihari
Home Country
Bangladesh
Current Location
Bangladesh
How much rewriting is enough?
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
How long is a piece of string? If the text is good, it needs no rewriting. Until then, it's a good idea to keep working on it.
 

jenby

New member
Joined
Jun 13, 2011
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Afar
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Just do it time after time!I think so...
 

SOLEX College

New member
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
Irish
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
That is the beauty part about writing, there is no end to it! Ask any great writer, they are never satisfied with what they have produced. Walt Whitman rewrote and republished "Leaves of Grass" 10 times!
 

have

New member
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Israel
Current Location
United States
[FONT=&quot]That is my question too. How much rewriting is enough?[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I consider myself a good writer in my native language. O boy, in English I am the worst writer and I truly want to change that. When I read a well written essay or letter I always ask myself; how can’t I write like that? However this past three week I made decision, whatever it take I am going to practice, practice and practice until I feel comfortable writing. I wonder what you my friends in this forums help you to become a good writer? How much rewriting was enough for you to have confident and to say I am now good in writing? [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
I'd say that if you can't hire a professional editor, you should revise your work until it is no longer possible or reasonable to revise it again. If you have a deadline for your writing, keep revising until you can find nothing to change and are satisfied or until it is time to send off.

Great writers can bang out a good piece of writing quickly, but never a perfect piece (perhaps poems and songs are an exception). I suspect that many of the writers who churn out book after book to commercial acclaim have very good editors.

In terms of general tips that can help all writers, and especially people whose native language is not English, I'd say number one is revise and rewrite.
Number two?
Simplify.

If you have a friend who can read and revise with you, use your friend.

If you have enough money, hire an editor.
 

School Assists

New member
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Rewriting is understandable and infact necessary till one is satisfied with his writing and I think one can get there in 3 rewrites. Rewriting 9 times seems to me like the author is writing for an audience and is constantly worried if the audience will appreciate it. At the same time, i feel that such an outlook produces cliched writing. I might be wrong. Its just my humble opinion.

Mauleen Fey
School Assists
 

samuelblack

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Dean Koontz, if I remember the spelling of his name correctly, writes popular horror fiction in the United States. Years ago he wrote that for every page of a book he gets published, he has written 9 drafts on average. In other words, every page is rewritten and rewritten and rewritten. He considers this part of the writing process. Why would anyone rewrite that much? If the goal is a piece that catches the reader's attention, is consistently interesting, flows smoothly, and is intellectually and emotionally powerful, but the writer has to rewrite and rewrite to get the piece up to that standard, he just puts in the time and energy and does it. I remember that in high school, rewriting a book report just to make it legible seemed a nuisance to me. But reading this comment by Mr. Koontz changed my whole attitude about rewriting. Since then, I've always considered the rewriting process as equally important as my original ideas. And I don't complain, no matter how long it takes to rewrite a piece. I just keep working.
There are some rules of writing.First you write.You must finish what you start.You must choose not to do something or partake of something from rewriting, except to editorial order.rewriting is good in a certain limit.
 

RetroFit_Maneuver

New member
Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I rewrite until I'm satisfied that I've worked all the kinks out of my writing. Reading what you've written aloud is a necessary part of that process -- it helps you realize when you've written something that doesn't flow naturally.

Content is the most critical thing, though. I need to put down my writing for a day or two, then come back to it to realize where I've made mental leaps that other people cannot follow. (You make these mental leaps because the source material is so close to you.)

You've got to make yourself clear and understandable. Those are the two goals everyone is aiming at eternally.

Sometimes, I aim for "good enough," realizing that what I've written will never be spectacular. Then, you move on to the next project.
 

HenryLin

Banned
Joined
Sep 26, 2014
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Rewriting is necessary and good if you are forming your article or story in a well and a modified manner.
 
Last edited:

HenryLin

Banned
Joined
Sep 26, 2014
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Rewriting is an essence of writing well, if you want to become an expert in writing then it would be very necessary for writer to have rewriting in limit. In the starting rewriting will be more but after some time if you become expert then rewriting will remove from your writing.
 

Alex S

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I have nothing against rewriting if you use the idea and want to add new facts to it. But when it's a simple rewriting of a text with different words, I do not think it will be a good idea...
 

TheParser

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I have not read all the posts.

I hope that no one has already cited these quotations:

"If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out." -- George Orwell (author).

"Meaning is fogged when sentences are freighted with unnecessary words." -- Harold Evans (journalist).

"[T]here is no such thing as good writing; there is only good rewriting." -- Ronald C. White, Jr. (educator).
 

Alex S

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I think it's impossible to call the EXACT number of times an author should use to rewrite their work to reach perfection. One can rewrite it 2-3 times while others need 10-15 rewritings for their text to look more or less ok.
 

asyhj

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Armenian
Home Country
Armenia
Current Location
Armenia
PLZ correct mistakes, thanks very much ^_^

Some young adults want independence from their parents as soon as possible. Other young adults prefer to live with their families for a longer time. Which of these situations do you think is better?

I live in a big house with my parents and siblings. My family is nice, living with my family members is interesting and happy, and so I like my present status. Our parents need somebody to take care of them, and I think we are the people, who must do it. Besides, I have people to communicate with, to have a meal, to spend interesting holidays and so on. However, living alone is boring and uninteresting; also, there are some daily problems and inconveniences.

Many people think that living alone is more preferable than living with parents and it is joyful, you can do anything you want, and live independent from others. Maybe they are right, but in my opinion, it is not nice, because our parents need some help and care. I think we must support and take care of them. Some parents feel unhappiness when their children leave them, in order to live separate. They gave us nurture, took care of us, they learnt us to speak, walk and so on, I am actually sure, that it’s right time to help them and return our thanks by deeds.

Living with parents and siblings is very interesting. In spite of some daily problems and conflicts with them, it is much happier and more pleasant living with them, then living alone. By living with them, I have people to deal with my day, to share my failures and successes, to have meal, to watch a football game and many other things like these. I think it is important for everyone in the world. In my opinion, the problems do not worth to avoid from family.
I plan to live with my future family I mean my spouse and children, separated from my parents and siblings. Because I am sure, that living alone is very boring, uninteresting and full of problems. Sometimes we need somebody to help us in some questions, such us cooking cake, or repair some machines. Doing it alone is very hard. Therefore, I plan to live with my parents or with my spouse.

Many people wish to live alone, they think that it is nice, and there are no conflicts with family members nor noise and efforts, so they are independent from others. However, they cannot imagine how it is boring and uninteresting living alone, far from parents and siblings. They cannot imagine their need of family members’ help, and the family members’ need of their care and attention.
 

Hamdi Khechainia

New member
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Arabic
Home Country
Algeria
Current Location
Algeria
I think experience makes you write in small time
 

saharali

Banned
Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Arabic
Home Country
Egypt
Current Location
Egypt
I'm aware of my grammar not being perfect and having issue with phrasing but I never realize they were that bad until you pointed it out. My American co-worker once told us (non-native speakers) how bad grammars made him cringe whenever he saw them on presentation slides. He just tried his best to ignore it as he knew it was a lost cause. :lol: It's not easy as an adult learner because you need to unlearn what you are so accustom to by breaking the habit. I'm not using that as an excuse for not improving my English of course, otherwise, I wouldn't be here.




 
Last edited by a moderator:

saharali

Banned
Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Arabic
Home Country
Egypt
Current Location
Egypt
Ernest Hemingway rewrote the ending of A Farewell to Arms 38 times.

When someone asked him why, he said: "To get the words right."

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Alston05

New member
Joined
Oct 10, 2015
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
American English
Home Country
Algeria
Current Location
Algeria
I agree. After spending ten years writing almost nothing but French essays and articles, and one French book, I wrote a book in my own language, English. It was easier, in a sense, but I was surprised how many times I printed a hard copy, and re-read it, only to find there were lots of changes I needed to make.
 

konungursvia

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
Same here. My first English-language book I think I reprinted and read through with a red pen, oh, some 45 or 50 times.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top