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In a poem, the words happen; they just come. I let them. Otherwise, I wouldn't write. To interfere with what is happening is to distort the poem. Just a very small degree of intelligence and supervision is necessary. Very tactful. Any revision later that violates the text as it came, that begins rewriting the words, is fake.
The biggest challenge for me has been in coping with my perfectionism. I have a stiflingly hard time moving forward in a project if it's not 'just right' all along the way. The trap I so easily fall into is rewriting and rewriting the same scenes over and over to make them perfect, instead of continuing on into the wild unknown of the story.
More than a half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn't say I have a talent that's special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.
If I were rewriting 'Love, Medicine & Miracles,' I might consider changing its title to 'The Side Effects of Cancer.' Healing is hard work, as is any change one must make in one's life. I and others have learned, however, that the side effects of cancer may not all be bad ones.
'A Fair Maiden' existed in notes and sketches for perhaps a year. When I traveled, I would take along with me my folder of notes - 'ideas for stories.' Eventually, I began to write it and wrote it fairly swiftly - in perhaps two months of fairly intense writing and rewriting. Most of my time writing is really re-writing.
Joyce Carol Oates
I work very hard on the writing, writing and rewriting and trying to weed out the lumber.
The process of rewriting is enjoyable, because you're not in that existential panic when you don't have a novel at all.
The purest case of an intelligence explosion would be an Artificial Intelligence rewriting its own source code. The key idea is that if you can improve intelligence even a little, the process accelerates. It's a tipping point. Like trying to balance a pen on one end - as soon as it tilts even a little, it quickly falls the rest of the way.
Rewriting is a large part of the whole job. And get rid of stuff that's not working. Just pare it down until it's a beautiful thing you can hand in, probably late, to your editor.
Artistry is important. Skill, hard work, rewriting, editing, and careful, careful craft: All of these are necessary. These are what separate the beginners from experienced artists.
I love rewriting because that is where and how you discover the story. It's like you have this skeleton, and you get to put flesh on it and hair and clothes and really wonderful jewelry.
I'm just trying to write a good story, strictly from imagination. People just think it's random, they don't see the rewriting, phrasing of characters, choosing the words, bringing the world to light in which the characters live in. That creates an illusion that this is real.
Eric Jerome Dickey
After 'Divergent,' I got a job rewriting a sci-fi script at Paramount. I think they really liked what I did, so I got a call saying, 'We're about to shoot 'Ninja Turtles' in three or four months; do you wanna come in and do a little work on the script?' That was the beginning of a many-month 'Ninja Turtle' odyssey.
When you perform in front of an audience after only two days of rehearsal, you're flying by the seat of your pants - particularly when they're rewriting the show right up to the moment the camera goes on.
I do not set specific work hours as some writers do. I generally stay with a chapter until I am satisfied, do very little rewriting, and if a scene is going well, I've been known to keep night owl hours.
Sharon Kay Penman
Rewriting isn't just about dialogue; it's the order of the scenes, how you finish a scene, how you get into a scene.
Directors sometimes have good ideas that I wished I'd had, not on rewriting but simply on staging.
On the one occasion where I did try writing a screenplay, I found the rewriting just unendurable.
Writing for me is largely about rewriting.
In my office in Florida I have, I think, 30 manuscript piles around the room. Some are screenplays or comic books or graphic novels. Some are almost done. Some I'm rewriting. If I'm working with a co-writer, they'll usually write the first draft. And then I write subsequent drafts.
Writing by myself, I spread that out more. I'll spend more time on a song then. I'm more critical about it, because there's no one else in the room to tell me, 'That's really not translating. I'm not getting what you're saying.' So, I'm constantly rewriting it, thinking, 'No, that's fine,' and going back.
I once wrote a short story called 'The Best Blues Singer in the World,' and it went like this: 'The streets that Balboa walked were his own private ocean, and Balboa was drowning.' End of story. That says it all. Nothing else to say. I've been rewriting that same story over and over again. All my plays are rewriting that same story.
Almost all the producers I know and dig, like Quincy Jones or Brian Eno, are really musicians first. I'm a composer, an orchestrator, an arranger and a musician first. I know how to write and rewrite songs, and the genius is really in the rewriting.
Oh, I do a tremendous amount of rewriting. I just obsessively rewrite. Although sometimes there are sections, sometimes you're just lucky and a paragraph will just kind of come out. And that's great. But that's not ordinary in a day's work.
I didn't know anything about writing a screenplay, but somehow I ended up rewriting a screenplay.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
John F. Kennedy
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