by Park Theatre

All summer I've been working on the rewrite for my (temporarily title-less) Park play, sometimes in my head, sometimes on paper or on the screen.  But now that the new term is under way I've got my head down, tapping away at the new draft in earnest.

I tend to approach rewrites in one of two ways, depending on what stage I'm at.  Towards the end of the process, I'll just open up the previous draft and, with notes from myself and others by my side, go through scene by scene, cutting and reworking as needed. 

If it's a second draft or a radical rewrite, however, I start with a blank screen.  No words of my own to distract me; complete freedom to strike out in new directions, led by the still-developing characters.  In fact, with some scripts I never open that previous draft again. 

But what of those moments of genius, those historic lines that will be lost for ever? 

If they're that good, I reckon, I won't forget them.

I like working this way - it has all the creativity of launching out into a new piece of work, without the naked fear of the unknown, the truly fresh page.  That previous draft is always there if I'm utterly lost and want to take a sneaky peek - if only to gasp in dismay and quickly close it again.

Writers: how do you approach rewrites?  Are you a tweaker?  Or do you love a blank screen?  Even if, as a fellow writer said to me the other day, that flashing cursor laughs at you as if to say 'come on then' ...

1 comment


I do love a blank page. I started writing a short play years ago and one day last year I decided to finish it. I had a look at it and it was ... let's just say "interesting". Cringe! It did inspire me to do a Playwriting course at the Lit though. Good times.

By Katherine Elizabeth | Fri 07 Sep 2012

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