Once you have a first draft of your book, it’s time to rewrite it.
Plan to rewrite at least four times before submitting your book to an editor.
The first rewrite will be the deepest and cruelest but also the most necessary one. This is called a structural rewrite. Look at the big picture of the book and ask some serious questions:
What scenes are to stay and which ones are to be deleted?
Are the characters staying true to form throughout the story?
Are they believable, likable, and lovable?
Do the good people have any weaknesses and do the downright nasty, bad folks have any redeemable features?
Does the book flow well? Does it get bogged down in description or in dialogue?
Does the tension build too fast? Too slow?
Are the characters described in one massive word dump or are they gradually introduced through scenes, actions, conversations, and body language?
Step away from your book as the author and try to look at it from the viewpoint of an editor, publisher, and reader.
An editor is looking to see if the book makes sense, if the sentences flow, if the action grabs and the dialogue matches the character.
The publisher is looking to see if the story is new, fresh, or exciting. Does it fit the audience that’s targeted?
Readers, of course, want to love your book! They want to dive in and get wet, come up gasping for air and dive down for another look. They want to be so caught up in your book that everything outside of your story slips away and is forgotten.
In order for this to happen, you need to cut away the chunks that are questionable, debatable, and downright stupid. You need to smooth out the rough spots, fill in the holes, and pump up the weak spots.
Once this structural rewrite is done you can move into the nitpicky sentence-by-sentence rewrite for your third draft.
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