Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mixing the Old with the New

Remember those times when you've boughten a new skirt and brought it home only to find that it doesn't go with anything you own, so you have to go and buy a blouse to match.

That's how I have felt about editing a few scenes these past few weeks.

I'll be editing a scene, taking stuff out, putting stuff in when all it really needed was something completely new. I've opened a new document and rewritten the scene without looking to see if I an old sentence will match.

What do you guys do when you edit? Do you rewrite entire scenes or do you try to mix your new words with the old.?

20 comments:

Tina Lynn said...

I mix. It takes more time and can be frustrating, but I hate to lose favorite lines or phrases, so I deal with it.

Jessica Nelson said...

Most of the time I mix but sometimes I have to write a scene from scratch to deepen/tighten a thread in the story. It's a pain! Good luck. :-)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'll mix, see if it works, and if it doesn't I have to and buy a whole new outfit.
~ Wendy

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I SO know what you're talking about on both accounts.

I have a few skirts and tops that have been in my closet for years and still have the price tags. And many scenes in my "CUTTING ROOM FLOOR" folder that will never see the light of day.

Jessie Oliveros said...

Maybe you already know this because I'm rehashed this subject way too much, but as I rewrite I'm not even looking back at my rough draft. I tried, but it messes me up too much.

Laura Pauling said...

If i'm rewriting I'll paste in the parts I liked from the previous version. But sometimes I can't use everything I like.

Heidi Willis said...

I think it depends on how bad it was to begin with. :) I considered rewriting my first novel attempt, and realized the best thing to do would be to trash the whole thing and start over, because it was in need of much more than just tweaking.

On the other hand, as I go through my current one, I do more tweaking. I'm considering getting rid of an entire character... that might make editing interesting. :)

T. Anne said...

I have to laugh because I bought a new skirt yesterday and all the way home I wondered what in the world I was going to wear it with. Honestly, I hope I put the thing on at least once. It was darling in the store...but I digress. I mix the old and the new and you know what? I bet no one can tell the difference. ;)

Piedmont Writer said...

Like most, I mix the old with the new. Especially if I have a line or two I really love.

As for the skirt, I make sure it's black, that way it goes with everything.

Rena said...

I usually mix, unless I've tweeked it so bad that I have to start fresh all over again.

Candyland said...

I do both! I hate to leave some of the *brilliant* things I'd written out (sarcasm). But I usually write new.

Susan R. Mills said...

I definitely mix, but I usually find that completely new is better.

patti said...

Definitely mix and match.

Here you go again with a great analogy, Q of A! YOU REIGN!!

P
P.S. Not traveling alone, Praise God. Sue's going! Stay tuned!

Dara said...

I'm right at this point now! I do a little of both. Some scenes work and I copy them over from older drafts. Many scenes don't though, since I've added another little "twist" in the story, so I've had to write entirely new things. My first three chapters were entirely new because the old beginning just didn't work.

I've also found that re-reading some of my older scenes helps me picture a better way to rewrite it, even if I only use a sentence or one element from the old scene.

Abby Annis said...

I do a little of both, though my current "edit" has been mostly new words. I find that rewriting just one scene can change pretty much everything which causes more scenes to be rewritten, and it's all rewriting from there on. Great post!

And Tag! You're it! Details on my blog. Participation is optional. :)

Carolyn V. said...

A little of both, depending if the scene works or not (I'm always hoping it will work).

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh this is really tricky. I must say that this is exactly what prompted my first and second re-write. My writing and grown too much to match the old with the new. It just wasn't working. So I guess it depends how well you can get the old to blend. Sometimes it isn't worth it. Sometimes it is. Good luck to you in making it work :)

Lynn said...

I hate shopping so I tend to try to first make something work, instead of shopping for something new. Not always efficient though! I approach writing the same; editing the wording first. However, the more I write, the more I learn what needs to be killed, and then less time is spent trying to create a fit that isn't there.

Elana Johnson said...

It depends on what I'm doing with that scene. If I'm keeping it, I line edit it to death. Mixing the old with the new.

If I know I'm not going to keep the scene, but need new words to get from point A to point B, then I rewrite.

Melissa said...

It depends on the scene and what I need to do with it. By the way, I love your analogy with the skirt and writing. It was great.