Home > The Writing Process > The Re-Write

The Re-Write

By: Angelique Caffrey - Updated: 28 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Rewrite; Rewriting; Edit; Writer;

Are You an Ant, a Grasshopper, or a Bee?

You've written your first draft and although it contains kernels of insight, it is in desperate need of an overhaul. It's time to rewrite, but you're not sure how to begin.

Based on your personality, the way you rewrite your works will differ from the methods used by other authors. Check out these styles of rewriting and determine which one resonates with you.

If You Like to Move Systematically From One Task to Another…

You are an "ant".

You are the type of person who is diligent and hardworking; you usually don't procrastinate on your assignments and you tend to write your pieces from beginning to end, rather than hopping around from the beginning to the end to the middle.

For you to get the most out of the rewriting process, you need to take each paragraph (or series of paragraphs, as the case may be) separately, analysing the tone, grammar, and relevancy. Edit them as you go, but don't forget that they must all flow.

Sometimes, "ant" writers tend to miss the forest for the trees; thus, they pay attention to the specifics but neglect the overall essence of their written works.

If You Like to Have Many Irons in The Fire at Once …

You are a "grasshopper".

This type of writer tends to jump from one section of the first draft to another in the process of rewriting. It's not unusual for the "grasshopper" to suddenly become inspired to change the last sentence while reading the second paragraph; consequently, he or she dashes to the end of the document without completely finishing what he or she started.

This author rewrites each article, essay, or chapter differently every time. Depending on his or her mood, the rewriting process for one article may be substantially distinct from that of another. However, it usually all gets finished right before the deadline.

One note - grasshoppers, like ants, cannot lose sight of the overall cadence and relevance of their works. Also, they sometimes, in their hurry to move around, neglect to check and correct spelling, grammar, noun-verb agreement, punctuation and other particulars.

If You Like Controlled Chaos…

You are a "bee".

This writer's workspace looks like an explosion took place; only the "bee" knows where everything is and how to find it. Coffee cups mingle with folders, and interviews are written on the backs of napkins and placemats.

This author's style of rewriting is eclectic and seemingly random, though it somehow always seems to get done. The "bee" is like the "grasshopper" in that he or she leaps from one section to another, but even more chaotically.

Thus, this type of writer will sometimes "rewrite" by simply scrapping the entire first draft and writing another one using very little of the original draft. For the "bee", it's easier to create a new piece than to systematically evaluate each sentence or clause, which he or she finds mind-numbingly dull.

One caveat for the bees - don't forget that it's great to have the energy to rewrite your entire first draft, but not if your deadline has already passed. And regardless of whether detailed rewriting and evaluating is boring, it's critical to the rewriting process.

No matter what style of rewriting you choose to employ based on your personality, make sure that you always remember to tackle the basics. And, of course, try to enjoy 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

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • diya
    Re: What is a Synopsis and How to Write One
    i need your help to write synopsis on the topic of "effect of gamma radiation on sanitary napkins"
    20 February 2018
  • Basharat
    Re: Improving Your Sentence Structure
    Really, informative and helpful in structuring sentences. Could you please help me out in improving my sentences?
    3 February 2018
  • Kiya
    Re: How to Write News Articles
    Thanks . Like the upper comments said its very helpful ! I've always wanted to write stories based on the world problems and etc...
    24 December 2017
  • 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
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.