You know what I dread worse than a standard revision/edit? A rewrite. “What is this evil you speak of?” you might ask. “And why would I ever want to do such a thing?”
For me, the difference between revising and rewriting has to do with the story line. In a standard revision, I may need to go back and tweak a few things, make things more clear, or add a scene or two. But a rewrite is more involved.
Let me tell you about my current struggle with a rewrite. I wrote my first draft, began editing, and realized the original love interest of the main character wasn’t doing it for me. Suddenly I had a really great idea. Get rid of guy #1 and introduce instead guy #2. Simple, right? Not so much. Guy #1 was someone I had previously introduced, so the characters already knew each other. Guy #2 was completely new. All of their interactions would be completely different from what I’d written before. I’d have to add scenes that let up to the circumstance of her meeting him (which involved adding yet another new character) and I’d have to create at least two new locations. Essentially the rewrite involves tearing the first draft into little bitty scraps and piecing them back together while sewing new bits in as well.
Why would I do this? Once you see the way a story should be told, you can’t have it any other way. And in the end, the rewrite is going to be so much better than my original idea!