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Old 06-10-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
MadSam
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Default How do YOU write rewrites?

I'm writing out the third draft. My method so far has been basically taking a copy of the previous draft and from that altering, inserting, deleting, rewriting, parts in favor of the revisions.

There's other ways of doing it. You could start with a blank page and then, with the revisions in mind, conclude that anything you don't include from the previous draft was not all that good or not integral to the story. Or you could put one draft at one side of your screen and the latest draft your working on at the other side and work like that.

Anybody with some material that they're serious about is likely to do rewrites - what works for you and what other methods are out there?
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: How do YOU write rewrites?

I make a list of all the things I want to change as I go through - sometimes I print out the script and mark it up, sometimes I just make a Word file with my notes.

Then I open up my latest draft, save it as the next numbered draft, and go through the notes in order. I'm a big fan of doing things chronologically.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: How do YOU write rewrites?

Chronologically works. That's pretty much my method in a nutshell.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: How do YOU write rewrites?

Bottom line, you have to be able to evaluate your own script. Each sceenplay is completely different -- and really that the problem with giving advice.

The problem can be simply your execution of the story is wrong -- say you're writing a sports drama, but everytime you need to push the character forward the writer hasn't setup goals for him to complete. You're going to end up with a ensemble piece and no ending. Difference between TV and Feature writing.

Another problem could be a character doesn't fit the piece.

Most of the time it's that you didn't preplan or develop the script enough before you started to write it. Having a point to start with and one to end with(before you begin) is a great help... and even having 52 points inbetween to see how each scene plays off each other helps.

Whatever I do is situational to the project I am working on...
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: How do YOU write rewrites?

What Reddery said - it depends on the script, and pre-writing can save a lot of rewriting.

Usually I do several rewrites, which are each part of a larger rewrite. The first is the "big picture" rewrite where I look at how the overall story works or does not work and make big changes if required. I don't want to rewrite some scene that will not end up in the script. Then I will do scene rewrites, and then character rewrites for individual characters. But there are also additional rewrites, depending on the script - if there's a mystery I also do a quick pass to make sure motives and clues are there and working.

All of that so that I can sell the sucker and some idiot in development can say, "What if they were cowboys?"

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Old 06-10-2011, 06:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: How do YOU write rewrites?

I go over what I wrote the previous day and do little edits as I see them... or feel them... going back over the few pages brings me back into the mood/atmosphere/feel of the story so I am running at full speed when I get to creating fresh pages... then when I type FADE OUT I do the process all over again... until I can fly though the whole thing in one shot and at least feel good about it
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: How do YOU write rewrites?

There was a thread about this a few weeks ago - you should track it down.

People seem to have very different methods of approaching re-writes. It can also depend on what stage of re-writing you are at and why you are doing it.

Some writers evaluate the script, make some notes, then start writing from scratch with a blank script. Others re-work the script, keeping what they like and modifying what needs changing. I do the latter - I delete scenes and work from notes about what needs fixing. Perhaps I'm not confident or competent enough to start from scratch. Some writers also do a re-write that might focus entirely on story or structure and a separate re-write - often late in the process - solely to refine dialogue.

One of the advantages of re-writing from scratch is that you don't fall into the trap of being unable to kill your babies, where you retain scenes or dialogue that have become favorites but which should be lost and without realizing it you write so that these can be kept instead of writing what's need to make the story stronger. In the end you'll re-write however it works best for you.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: How do YOU write rewrites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddery View Post
Bottom line, you have to be able to evaluate your own script. Each sceenplay is completely different -- and really that the problem with giving advice.

The problem can be simply your execution of the story is wrong -- say you're writing a sports drama, but everytime you need to push the character forward the writer hasn't setup goals for him to complete. You're going to end up with a ensemble piece and no ending. Difference between TV and Feature writing.

Another problem could be a character doesn't fit the piece.

Most of the time it's that you didn't preplan or develop the script enough before you started to write it. Having a point to start with and one to end with(before you begin) is a great help... and even having 52 points inbetween to see how each scene plays off each other helps.

Whatever I do is situational to the project I am working on...
That's what I do. I think of the idea, then the theme, then the beginning, then the end. I write an rough outline, then a rough draft and type a draft that can easily polished.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: How do YOU write rewrites?

I read through the draft and make a few notes on what needs to be fixed on what page. I then open another document and begin from scratch with my previous version printed out or in PDF form. If the second draft is good enough, then I"ll start editing on top of drafts.
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: How do YOU write rewrites?

I generally make a list of everything I want to change or work on. If the changes are major - carving out entire subplots, replacing characters - I start a new draft, copy-pasting over usable scenes from the earlier draft. If they are less radical, I save the earlier draft as a new file and work from there. I normally work in passes, with each pass targeting a specific issue: Fine-tune Character A's dialogue. Fix a hook with no payoff. Make my use of ALL CAPS internally consistent. Etc.
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