Rewriting is HARD!

I revise. I rarely rewrite. In fact, the only thing I've tried to rewrite is 7TH SACRIFICE and I scrapped the entire incomplete manuscript, so that should almost be called writing, as there isn't much "re" involved.

Coming on a year ago, I finished the manuscript for WANTED: CHOSEN ONE, NOW HIRING. I got feedback from an agent who said he would have preferred the story if Bastin and not Nashau had been the main character. This was similar to feedback Elizabeth Poole gave me. But I didn't want to rewrite with Bastin as the main character. Bastin's story's been told before. Nashau's story hadn't. So I tabled that feedback and went on with my other works.

Then THE TRIAD SOCIETY was a near miss. Some of the feedback was there was a particular section that seemed to ramble. In truth, that section had been a shout out to WANTED. The stories are in the same world even though they're not in the same kingdom or with the same characters. I wanted to show the world evolving based on the impact of the stories. Now, I could cut this section, but there are other parts in that section that play directly to the ending (which I don't think the agent ever got to), so I'm averse to cutting it for the moment.

My plan had been, and why I kept that section in there, was once the agent said she wanted to rep TRIAD, that I had another story in that setting that would do well to come out first (yeah, I know publishing doesn't always work that way, but it couldn't hurt to try!). She passed on TRIAD, though, and this was devastating1. I didn't quite come to terms with getting so close and coming up short like I usually do (granted, I don't think I've ever been that close). So I begin scheming, as hobbits are wont to do. If I can't use TRIAD to sell WANTED, maybe I can use WANTED to sell TRIAD2.

I go back and ponder--yet again--what WANTED would be like with Bastin as the main character. But I don't just ponder, I start rewriting it. I delete the first four chapters and look at the story anew.


Holy crap, this is better.


Holy crap, this is so much better. So I began the rewrite. WANTED wasn't bad before. But in hindsight, it had some water weight to shed. It's the difference between being chubby and being svelt. I've cut 21,000 words so far (actually more than that, but I've written a few thousand new words). My final word count will drop from 150k to something more around 125k maybe 130k. While the reduced word count has diminished the world building slightly, it's a much tighter story in all.

BUT (you knew there would be a but, right?), REWRITING IS HARD! Sure revision is hard, but rewriting is HARD. You have to approach characters fresh. They might not be the people they were before. You need to remember to incorporate the details that your brain is telling you you've already included. You need to not repeat yourself, keep the new plot straight compared to the old plot (chapter 32 is now chapter 12, that impacts everything in between). ANNNND, you have to come to terms with you're writing a first draft of a completed manuscript. How hard is that? You're going to be upset when the stuff needs more polish and you're all like, but I already finished this damn book. It shouldn't be sucking.

But it does suck my friend, because rewriting is hard. Breathe, count to 10, and put your nose to the grindstone. In the end you'll be a noseless author with a rewritten manuscript and a bloody grindstone.

1 Whenever you're sad after a rejection others tell you that it happens to everyone and to keep on going. This is absolutely true in every sense. BUT, do not think that does not mean you're not permitted to feel down. Absolutely feel down. It's called disappointment for a reason. But you're only allowed so much time to feel down. After that, either start writing or start scheming. I recommend the former.

2 Look, remember that part you thought was rambling? Make sense now?3 Wheeeee!!!!

3 It would have made sense before if you had finished the damn manuscript. *pout*4

4 Stop pouting and acting like a child. Go write your fucking book.