Having time to rewrite is a luxury. My alter-ego uses another name to write non-fiction. Deadlines rule. I know that for the media tie-in writers, also, deadlines are part of the business of selling words.
I have one book done, and one book a little over half-way done (7/12). I have the luxury of reconsidering plot points and character issues in the first book.
Did I have the right reveals?
Was there an appropriate setup?
Did the setup have the right payoff?
Some of this is difficult. A book is a big and complex thing. There are parts where the writing was flying along under a scrap of sail in a tempest. I write the things I like to read aloud; sometimes I'm really sure where I'm heading, but if the ride is fun, that’s what really matters.
There are other parts more meticulously crafted to misdirect a reveal. The things to be learned later by the characters. Things about which the reader could say “of course, I knew that.” Or “Really? Where was that said?”
Since I’m not on a deadline (yet) I can take time to revise some of those things that might not work out well as the story unfolds. Some of effort this is the capital “I” Inspiration. Rethinking characters and places and the character’s role in the story. Two characters just jumped in age by twenty years because it was a tiny bit cooler to have them be older. Some of this is little “i” inspiration where a better turn of phrase replaces a cliché.
(I’m weak on the cliché problem. I read Margret Atwood and feel like deleting all my files.)
Of course, the whole story can’t be written and rewritten endlessly. I’d never get done, and I’d never get it into anyone’s hands to enjoy it along with me.
For now, I’m luxuriating in the rewriting process.