Revising? Rewriting? Reworking?

Yesterday, I worked on Chapter 2 (actually Chapter 3, if you count the Prologue as Chapter 1, which I don’t, because it’s not long enough – confused enough yet?) of The Third War. When I reworked my entire outline over Christmas break, there were a lot of scenes I was able to keep, as far as intent goes. Character A was still going to talk to Character B about a certain situation, but the setting and point that happens in the plot might have changed, requiring rewrites.

Or is that called revising? Or reworking? I’ve been pondering that question since changing my outline and putting parenthetical notes at the end of each scene, such as “Can rework” or “Need to rewrite” or “Revise”. My brain interprets what those notes mean without further explanation, but do those notes really mean what I want them to mean? Is there a word for keeping large chunks of text but then adding in a bunch of next text and editing another large chunk of text, making a new chapter that’s not entirely new?

Or is it all just called writing?

It’s an odd question, but I pose it anyway because this is my third year participating in the Get Your Words out challenge. This year I’ve pledged to write 200k words, which is 50k less than I pledged last year, but I knew that several months this year would be spent brainstorming, outlining, and revising, instead of writing completely new text. So I thought 200k was a nice, round number, allowing me to write my two novels (The Third War and Terminus), and giving me room to write short stories and various character/world-building scenes for other novels – possibly even some fanfic if I feel like it.

Aaaaaanyway, for GYWO, I’m only supposed to count new words I’ve written. So while working on Chapter 2, I had to keep track of which words were new and which were old and which sections were revised adding new words and which sections stayed as is and I think I ended up counting everything as I was supposed to but I’m not entirely sure. 

*lets out deep breath*

Anyway, the point of this rambling blog post writing while still in bed Saturday morning is that I finished Chapter 2 yesterday. Huzzah! I will use the rest of weekend, while staying in bed and recovering from mono, to work on more chapters. And I will also finish watching the current season of Once Upon a Time and read some more Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn. All in all, a good weekend.


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