Don’t think of rewriting as needing to suddenly make a story perfect, particularly when going from the first draft to the second. You can keep entire chunks of text from a previous version. You can make notes in your second draft, or your third, or your fourth. It’s okay to note that a line is awkward and then move on, or to make a note that you need to add a scene but not write it yet. Writing is a process, and you don’t need to get it all in one try.
This is, in fact, usually better for your manuscript in the long term.
Each draft should be focused around correcting certain things, specific plot lines or character arcs or relationships, descriptions or dialogue, actions or emotions, etc.
If you try to fix too many aspects during a single draft, you’ll run the risk of overwhelming yourself and/or making mistakes you could have avoided by limiting your focus.
I’ve learned this from experience. Don’t try to handle everything at once. Choose one thing – “I want to fine tune my dialogue!” – and go through your manuscript while fixing that one thing.
Then do it again. “I want to develop my plot points and drop in some foreshadowing!” Do that one thing.
And for gods sake don’t think about changing your chapter numbers until you’ve got it where you want it. That’s a pain.
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