Thursday, March 24, 2011

Re: Rewriting

So I got a letter from an editor yesterday that was neither a rejection nor an acceptance.  What else could their be, you ask?   Let me introduce you to the rewrite letter.

First, the editor complimented my writing, which is always a good thing, and then went into detailing the brief piece of the story that didn’t work for her, and asked if I’d like to do a rewrite.  I agreed.  I’ll let you know how it comes out. 

I think getting a rewrite request letter is a great thing.  Almost as good as getting accepted.  It shows the editor liked the majority of your work, and is willing to publish it if you can just do a little bit of honing.  There may be writers out there whose work is too personal to them to rewrite for someone else, but I’m generally not one of them.  Usually editors are quite keen on story mechanics and what works versus what doesn’t, so it’s good to trust them.  When I was writing for Brewing News, my editor often pushed me to refine an article or a feature until it was better than what I had turned in, and I was always thankful for it.  The piece was almost always better than when it started.  Two heads are better than one, I guess, and I’ve always believed that the writer/editor relationship is a good dichotomy, and a great editor is one who pushes the writer to be better and better. 

So I rewrote the piece this morning, and I’m very pleased with it.  The changes were minor.  Just a couple sentences toward the end of page two, and a few more added at the end of the story.  But it fleshes out one of the two characters more, and gives her a greater raison d’etre.  I pleased with the changes, and hopefully, the editor will be as well. 

Write On!

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