Writing the Re-write: Re-read

Silver Re-Write

Now that we’ve got our calendar, let’s continue with the next phase of the re-write pre-production process. Re-reading your work.


If you’re an author who only has one book under his or her belt, this step won’t apply to you. But then again, if you’re an author already re-writing your first book after it’s been published, what are you doing here? If you’re a new author, it’s way too early to be re-writing your work unless it’s been out for years and it is your one and only story. If you’re an experienced author, you don’t need my tips. If you’re working on a stand alone book not in a series, again this advice won’t be helpful to you.

With that out of the way, we enter the next phase of pre-production. When you’re re-reading your second book you are specifically looking for references to the first book and are taking notes on: Characters, events, locations, and miscellaneous details like how many rooms in the main character’s house, what floor is their bedroom, etc.

There’s three types of notes that you need to look out for:

  1. I can ignore this reference because it’s vague enough for me to write around it.
  2. I cannot ignore this reference because it’s critical to the plot.
  3. I must re-edit book 2 to remove references to book 1 that are going to be deleted.

Oh yes, that’s right. You may need to re-write and re-edit your second book! What? Did you think that the rest of your books would be immune to re-writes? Ha! Ha ha ha haha ha! Welcome to the world of writing. Take a seat.

Writing is just like video editing, for those of you who are visual learners. Imagine that you have a huge timeline full of video clips (scenes) and you’re trying to piece together the jigsaw puzzle into a coherent storyline.

If you change one scene even if it’s tiny, It may cause a butterfly effect throughout all of your plot and books.


For instance, I want to change a kissing scene from the 1st book into something that was more accidental and innocent. Well if it’s an accident, that changes how character will react to the event. Characters might be more forgiving of what happened and would be less angry than if it were intentional.

Also, a chapter in book 2 has multiple references to book 1 that would not work with the planned re-write. The chapter heavily references the ending of book 1 and the massive events that shattered New York City. Well, I don’t want New York City shattered anymore and I don’t want the ending to be as massive as it is now. So that entire Chapter in book 2 needs to be re-written to accommodate the new changes to the previous book.

Whew! What a headache huh? That’s why it’s important to have a calendar and an outline before you start writing big stories. It may sound boring and tedious compared to writing that 1st draft, but it will be a huge lifesaver in keeping that continuity under control.

The next blog post might just share some of the rough drafts that I’m working on. I’m not too happy about this idea, but I think it will be educational and informative.


As a bonus, here’s some examples of my notes on book 2:




“a high-tech army, lit the internet on fire. Once the army was defeated, the woman mysteriously vanished and was never heard from again.”  -Cindy defeats high-tech army. Can this still work in 1st book rewrite?


“Well, we don’t have any direct evidence, but our Intel suggests that she may have assassinated Senator Albright and Starlight Industries CEO, Joseph Van Eisler.” -Senator Albright and Joseph Van Eisler must be assassinated in 1st book rewrite. Can leave out details of 1st Continental employment.


“She glances to her left and right, but she’s alone in the desolate, post-apocalyptic street. When she stares back at the fragmented window, it shows Cindy’s face covered in blood. Every night the memories wake her” -This references the 1st book. But, it can be kept as just a dream and nothing more. Not necessary to have Times Square yet.


“It bothers me that my inventions were used when Raymond attacked the city.” -Reference to attack on the city. Is it possible to do something small scale?


“The suit only affected inhibitions, Cindy.” He pointed to his temple. “Subliminally , you wanted to do it. That’s the way the suit worked. Just because you wouldn’t have done it without the suit doesn’t make me feel better.” -More detail on Cindy kissing Michael. It’s cutting it close continuity wise, but still workable within the rules of the suit.


“Michael’s hand on her chest, their lips locked, the feeling of having dominance over him.” -*This will need a re-write.


“No super heroes, no crazy helicopter chases, no armies or gunfights. Just us.” -*Might need re-write. Direct reference to 1st book.


“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to JFK International Airport. Local time is 3: 24pm and the temperature is a warm eighty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re planning on sightseeing, it’s a perfect day to do some shopping in Times Square or take a walk in Central Park.” -This paragraph specifically BREAKS continuity with book 1. Times Square must not be mentioned in book 1.

I think I’ll wrap up the notes here for now. If you like these notes, I have plenty more where that came from. Leave a comment on facebook, twitter, here, wherever if you want to see more.

Wilmar Luna
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