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Letting Go of the Reins

When a Complete Rewrite Is the Right Choice

Steven James

We launch into our writing projects with so much confidence, so much reassurance that we know where things are going to go and what ground we’re going to cover. So we climb onto the horse and begin to ride along the path, and when the ideas that start unfolding before us don’t line up with what we had anticipated we would find, we keep yanking the reins back: Stay on the trail, girl. Don’t go off the path.

Writing instructors and craft books often warn us about the dangers of writing ourselves into a corner or taking rabbit trails. So no matter how much the story whinnies or stamps its feet or tries to veer off and explore other paths, we make sure it stays steady ...

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