The Three Rewrite Dragons

So on Tuesday we talked about the five biggest lessons I have learned from rewriting my novel. Hopefully some of those lessons helped some of you out so you are better prepared for when you have to rewrite your novel. But there is something I forgot to mention.

Not everyone’s experience will be the same.

So while those lessons may be fairly universal, how your rewrite goes and how you get to those lessons might not be. While you are going through your rewrite, the mighty scalpel in your hand ready to cut out those darlings, there are three different rewrite dragons you could face.

The Behemoth

This is the biggest of all the dragons. Of the three, she will take the most energy, patience, and effort to defeat. This dragon is the one that makes you read through your manuscript line by line, picking apart each individual word, scene, and piece of dialogue. There is no quick fix to defeat this beast. You simply have to get your butt in a seat and slog through it.

The Wyrm

Image Source

Image Source

While not as big as the Behemoth, the Wyrm is a large beast herself. The Wyrm rewrite is the one where you go through and rewrite big chunks of your manuscript. Maybe you have identified a couple of chapters that need rewriting or perhaps certain scenes in multiple chapters. Regardless, this dragon forces you to dissect your work, targeting what needs removing and replacing it with something better. The fire of this dragon can spread, though. Make sure that what you take out and what you insert still works fluidly with the rest of the story.

The Hatchling

This is the simplest of the dragons but should not be underestimated. This is a dragon you defeat by making superficial changes, rewriting a few lines here or there. It is unlikely that this will be the first of the beasts you face in your rewriting quest, but you will face it eventually. Just like it’s relative, the Wyrm, make sure that what you change still flows with the work and doesn’t cut out important parts that might need to be reworked in.

The rewrite dragons can be intimidating. They are not simple beasts that can be taken down with the quick stroke of a pen. They require planning, help, and a lot of energy. Each one presents it own challenges.

As for myself, I am facing the Behemoth. A lot of Archangel was written years ago and my writing has developed since then. It means that I am rewriting most lines to make them flow better, sound better, and to just tighten up my prose throughout the entire manuscript. The second half of the novel isn’t just being rewritten though, it is being completely and totally overhauled to include a different storyline and remove two others.

Which of the dragons have you faced? Are there any other rewrite beasts that you’ve com across before? Let me know how your rewrite fight goes in the comments below!

And for those who are facing any of these dragons themselves: happy hunting.