Michigan, USA

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How much is too much?

August 8, 2017

 

 

How many times is too many to re-write a scene?

 

The first book of the series, Double-Edged War, is near finished. The first draft of the second book, This Side of War, is completed. But the third book, Shift in War, has been giving us trouble. Several parts have been re-written time and time again.

 

Something here changes. Something there is added.

This doesn't happen now. It doesn't happen like this anymore.

He's here now. She isn't.

 

So how many is too many? How many times can you re-write a scene before you just scream and throw your laptop across the room? How many times before you decide your characters will just get eaten because... that must be the only possible choice that we've not written yet.

 

The answer is... as many times as it takes.

 

Yup. As annoying as it might be, sometimes you just have to keep writing. Over and over the same part, different ways, different reactions, different times and places with different people there or not. Until you just get it right.

 

Sure, you might have to take a break. Step away after the fourth, tenth, fiftieth time and work on something else until you've cleared your head. But you will still have to write the scene however many times is needed in order to get it right.

 

And so... here we are, five... six... rewrites later and it's now break time. A few days, perhaps a week or so... to put some distance between this book and our frustration. And what to do while you back off?

 

Well! Lucky for all of you. We still work. Final edits and touches for Book One. Beginning edits for Book Two, and some bonus parts that will lead to extras everyone will get to enjoy. And then, one day when we're not about to throw out the computers or kill the characters... We will return to Book Three and write the scene again...

 

Time Seven, and ten, and eighty-nine if that's what it takes.

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