That’s Why They Call It Rewriting


That’s Why They Call It Rewriting The old saw says there’s no such thing as writing, only rewriting. This is true. Better to have written a lousy ballet than to have composed no ballet at all. Get your idea down on paper. You can always tweak it later. Next question: How do you get it down? Start at the End Here’s a trick that screenwriters use: work backwards. Begin at the finish. If you’re writing a movie, solve the climax first. If you’re opening a restaurant, begin with the experience you want the diner to have when she walks in and enjoys a meal. If you’re preparing a seduction, determine the state of mind you want the process of romancing to bring your lover to. Figure out where you want to go; then work backwards from there. Yes, you say. “But how do I know where I want to go?” Answer the Question “What Is This About?” Start with the theme. What is this project about? What is the Eiffel Tower about? What is the space shuttle about? What is Nude Descending a Staircase about? Your movie, your album, your new startup … what is it about? When you know that, you’ll know the end state. And when you know the end state, you’ll know the steps to take to get there.



Pressfield, Steven. Do the Work (p. 15). The Domino Project/Black Irish Entertainment. Kindle Edition.

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