“What brings a wolf to the eagle eyries?” a female voice squawked.
“I am a warrior in training,” said Khain, lifting his head. “And I am trying to complete my Testing. I have no quarrel with the eagles.”
The bird cawed at him, and Khain realized she was laughing. “Little wolf has no quarrel with us. Then why do you come up here, where you do not belong?”
“I wanted to get above the storm.” Said Khain.
“Maybe,” said the eagle. “Or you could be a spy. The wolves might think we would take pity on one so small and helpless.”
Khain felt anger seeping through him, and his ears flattened against his head. “I am not helpless you oversized pheasant! I am a wolf warrior, so show some respect!”
The eagle cackled. “Fiesty little wolf, thinks he’s a warrior!” she suddenly spread her wings and flapped them so hard that Khain staggered back a pace, blinking snow from his eyes. “Fight me, then, and we shall see what you are!”
Now that I have your attention, let’s get into the purpose of this blog post. The little excerpt above is from the final rough draft of my short story. Yes, I did say “final rough draft” and I meant it. Most authors revise their works multiple times before submitting it to an editor, publisher, or agent, or all three. I personally prefer to re-write my work multiple times before I consider it ready to be submitted (at the moment it’s only submitted to peers and professors).
Editing takes forever, and I have little patience to go through my stories and books sentence-by-sentence to make repairs. You may think that totally re-writing a story would take longer and be more tedious, but for me, it’s a very freeing thing to have the option of re-writing. Interestingly enough, it was my grandpa who originally gave me the idea. He told me that he liked my first book, but that it had a lot of problems, which I agreed with. With a sigh, I assured him that I planned to edit it at some point, but I was obviously reluctant about the idea. That was when he said something like, “Why don’t you just re-write it?” I think I felt a physical weight lift off my chest at that point, and I was thrilled with the idea.
Re-writes give you a chance to change big things like plot, characters and setting that you’ve found no longer fit in the story you’re writing. I don’t recommend re-writing your entire story or book if you just want to change one scene, or if you just dislike a few sentences here and there, but it is a useful tool if you need to change something major. You also have to be careful not to get caught up in rewrites, because there comes a point where you can’t make a story any better on your own. At that point you should ask other people to read it and see what they think of it, and really consider their suggestions.