Lesson 5 of 5
In Progress

Create A New File

Once you have your notes and a plan for the rewrite, don’t simply start overwriting your original file. There will inevitably be something in that poor, damaged manuscript that you will need to refer back to at some point and once you’ve overwritten or deleted it, then it’s probably gone for good.

In Scrivener, I duplicate the manuscript then create an archive folder for the old version. 

For my screenplays (and this might apply to Word users for their manuscripts) I like to create a new file, numbering each file 001, 002, 003 in order.

Here’s a quick video to show you what I mean…

Once these are sorted, I can happily hack away at the manuscript knowing that I have a back-up of the original. It’s rare that I actually go back and refer to it, but just having that psychological balm of knowing that it’s there if I need it, frees me to make more daring changes.

Big changes will also, of course, create all new problems to solve… but that’s why we love to write, isn’t it? The problem solving? The rewriting? Yeah. Jump in. Don’t be afraid. Have fun and work hard to delight your reader.


Martina Cole on cutting her first drafts: Create A New File – The Bestseller Academy

No Audio Clip found.

Sam King on edits, copy edits, second drafts: No Audio Clip found.

Shannon Mayer on her editing process: No Audio Clip found.

Maria Semple: First drafts are often bad: No Audio Clip found.

Joe Hill on first drafts and keeping the reader engaged: No Audio Clip found.

Liz Fenwick on first drafts: No Audio Clip found.