Thursday, 29 April 2010


By Richard Jay Parker

Although, as of today, I'm at the halfway point of book 2 I've already been at the halfway point of book 2 twice before. It's the same story but I'm still exploring different ways of telling it. My editor, Lara, is excited about the story and is encouraging me to maximise the stronger elements of the plot.

A lot of writers say that they'd rather start something new than have to rewrite. I can certainly appreciate this but it's less applicable for me, however, because rewriting in my world usually constitutes writing the whole thing anew. I find that by the time I've trawled through a draft and tried to lift out which components work it's actually quicker for me to knuckle down and see what arises from a fresh attack. At least I can do it armed with the knowledge of what's working so far.

People ask - 'doesn't it make you want to break your keyboard over your knee - having to start all over again?' It's not the same as starting again, however, because I'm rewriting with an informed approach. That's not to say I haven't broken plenty of keyboards over my knee though.

I suppose it depends on what your definition of rewriting is. Rewriting and editing often overlap.
Editing - that's a different kettle of fish for me. It's a pleasurable world of muse, chin stroke, cut and paste. It's my favourite part.

Rewriting is a filthy, tooth grinding, time gobbling but necessary process but hopefully book 2 will be worth every piece of shattered plastic and every inch of ground enamel.

Happy weekend


  1. One. Word. At. A. Time. Forward we go!

  2. Oh, I hear you on this one. I'm currently tearing down some work, hoping that when I rebuild I'll have a better book. But it's a leap of faith. Polishing the words after? Fun part. Totally.

  3. I'm actually at that point myself. It seems, I start the rewrite and then the story starts to bend because of it which makes me question a fresh start again!

  4. Thanks, Charlene. That's the long and short of it!

    Hi, Maureen. Hope you reach the polishing stage soon.

    Thanks for stopping by, Debra. It's our creative conscience speaking - a hard taskmaster but it knows best.

  5. As a software developer I have never produced a piece of software I am happy with. I always look back and say I could have done it better this way instead. However deadlines mean I had to go with what I had and users were happy to use it, sometimes for 20 years (no joke - mainframe stuff). BUT I could never have faced starting it all again and admire your patience and commitment. Oh, and I do know a cheap source of keyboards if it helps.