Home > Getting Paid For Writing > The Rewrite Request

The Rewrite Request

By: Angelique Caffrey - Updated: 29 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Rewrite; Rewriting; Write; Writing;

You hand in what you consider to be a polished, final draft to your editor; however, a few days later, he or she requests a rewrite. You suddenly are filled with mixed emotions; after all, you thought your document was finished.

In cases where you're asked to redo a manuscript, you need to focus on the positives of the situation and not the negatives. Often, writers' first thoughts are, "Why wasn't my work good enough?" Instead, the professional author takes control of the situation and moves beyond self-doubt into action.

Below are some steps to take when your editor or supervisor returns your writing with a note calling for a rewrite.

Find Out Exactly What Your Editor Wants

Don't assume that your editor wants a complete rewrite. In fact, don't assume anything. Instead, pick up the phone or send an email asking detailed questions, such as:

  • Can you give me some insight as to what elements of my story need to be reworked?
  • Are there any particular aspects of my essay that you'd like me to concentrate on during the rewriting process?
  • How soon would you like the rewrite on your desk (or in your email)?

By asking for specifics, you won't end up wasting your time (or anyone else's). You may even discover that your editor only needs a small section of the piece rewritten; but you'll never know until you ask.

Resist The Temptation to Argue With Your Editor

We all want to think that we know what's best, but if your editor doesn't agree, try to make every effort to give him or her the product he or she needs. You may disagree on some points (such as whether a quote adds to overall substance of the piece), but choose your battles wisely, especially if this is the first time you're working with this agent, publisher, newspaper, magazine, or website.

If you truly feel that your editor is making a huge mistake by encouraging you to rewrite your article, you may have to accept that you cannot work with him or her. In this case, you always have the option to withdraw your submission and try to sell it elsewhere (if it hasn't been accepted and you're a freelancer), but it's best to at least hear your editor out.

Accept That You May be Asked to Complete More Than One Rewrite

The truth is, rewrites are common in the writing industry. In fact, you may be asked to rewrite your rewrite. Many novice journalists are shocked by this development, but quickly come to realise that it's simply part of the territory.

Just keep in mind that when an editor is asking for a rewrite, it doesn't mean he or she is rejecting you; it's actually quite the opposite. He or she trusts that you will professionally develop a more suitable piece for his or her publication. Consider it a compliment, not a rebuff. Most of all, try to learn more about yourself and stretch your writing acumen in the process.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Shay_Marie
    Re: Learning to Think Like a Writer
    I'm a young women who's graduated high school, and not yet been able to go to collage, but I have a passion for writing, and I…
    24 October 2017
  • Elena
    Re: Plot vs. Character
    I've been studying screen writing for 18 but feel I never can learn enough. I want to master the craft - eventually.
    23 August 2017
  • Chris
    Re: Script Writing Dialogue and Description
    Many, many thanks for the crafting of this scientific and auspicious art form of creativity*** you are hitting the…
    29 July 2017
  • JCarlos
    Re: What is a Synopsis and How to Write One
    I have no problem with writing screenplays but when it comes to writing the synopsis I just can't seem to write it…
    28 May 2017
  • deepu
    Re: Creating Your Website
    Use the prologue to provide backstory. One way to use a prologue is to provide backstory on a character or several characters. A backstory…
    15 May 2017
  • Nikki
    Re: What is a Synopsis and How to Write One
    Am writing a book on an African language and I wanted to know if i have to write a synopsis.
    7 May 2017
  • Giles
    Re: Narrative Journalism
    Hi there You might be interested in Well Told - it's the first conference in the UK to be dedicated to narrative and longform journalism.…
    18 April 2017
  • vanweha
    Re: Learning to Think Like a Writer
    i am young man who recently finished his high school. i have that passion of becoming a writter but i am too vulnerable to…
    12 March 2017
  • Lexy
    Re: Informative Writing
    This helped me with my informative essay for English honors 1. This was very helpful thank you.
    27 February 2017
  • Xeptional Angel Emen
    Re: What is Microfiction?
    can I write a micro story that the ending isn`t actually the end, like keep my audience in suspense or I must complete the story to give it…
    27 February 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ExploreWriting website. Please read our Disclaimer.