Monday, April 5, 2010

Mentor Monday: Good Writing is Rewriting

I'm about to start the interesting work of revising the first drafts of two novels.  Here's what other writers have said about the work of revision.

"I rework my stories as I go along and after I finish.  For Durango Street I had nearly two thousand pages of rough draft, out of which came two hundred pages of finished manuscript."

Frank Bonham

"By the time I am nearing the end of a tory, the first part will have been rearead and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times.

"I am suspicious of both facility and speed.  Good writing is essentially rewriting.  I am positive of this."

Roald Dahl

"To produce a 60-page book, I may easily write 1,000 pages before I'm satisfied."

Dr. Seuss

"I rewrote the ending to Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied."

Ernest Hemingway

"I can't understand how anyone can write without rewriting anything over and over again.  I scarcely ever re-read my published writings, but if by chance I come across a page, it always strikes me: all this must be rewritten; this is how I should have written it . . . "

Leo Tolstoy


Barbara said...

Whoa! Two novels. Good for you!

Andrea Murphy said...

Rewriting is the fun part. It's kind of like watching that newborn baby, all messed up from the rigors of birth, grow into her pointy head and smushed face. Who knew that little creature could be so beautiful?