THE URGE TO REWRITE

 

True confession: rewriting my stories is one of my favorite things to do. Yes, yes, I know that it would be more productive to go on to new projects. After all, I certainly have no shortage of characters clamoring for me to tell their stories. But I keep thinking about the stories I’ve already finished – even some that I’ve already published – and getting these urges to go back and tweak a line of dialog here, a bit of description there, or to add a tidbit about a character, or to tinker with virtually any aspect of a story.

In part, this urge arises from the fact that I’m in the middle of writing a half-dozen linked stories featuring the same characters. I know considerably more about these characters and the world they inhabit than I did when I started out. So I’d love to go back to the earlier stories and adjust a few things that would sure come in handy for the later stories. Better yet, I’d love to change some stuff that’s limiting what can happen next. But the first story in this series was already published and the second one comes out in about a month, so no rewriting.

I’ve considered not submitting any additional stories in this series for publication until they’re all done. That seemed to make sense when I first thought there would be four stories or even five. Now there are six. And I wouldn’t rule out a seventh if an idea came along. So you can see that it could be rather a while before any more in the series would be published if I waited. Trouble is that I’m as impatient to get the next ones published as you are. Maybe even more so.

It could be worse. I could be sitting here and thinking about rewriting last year’s blog posts. No, no, no. That way truly would lie madness.

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