Sunday, January 11, 2015
And Now It's Time For... "Adventures In Rewriting"!
Hello everyone, today I want to give you all a little insight into how things are going with my latest novel.
Some of you may know that I had started working on "The Door" some time back, but then set it aside to work on "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home". I did this originally, because I'd hoped to get the vampyre book out last October, but of course that didn't happen. My classes at CSU Monterey Bay got crazy with the workload so I couldn't finish in time.
Now, the vampyre book is set around October so I wanted to keep with the whole Halloween timing, so after finishing the 1st draft I've set it aside and gone back to "The Door". This is actually beneficial since "The Door" will temporarily wrap things up for the heroes of my first two novels "The Bridge" and "The Ship". So by going back to "The Door" I can have a sort of trilogy to put out as a box set come Christmastime.
With this in mind I dove back into my first draft of "The Door" which was about 2/3's done. And below you'll see how I felt about this at first...
But then something happened. I'd forgotten where I started that book out and who was where when I completed my second novel "The Ship". Originally I just had Alex and Veronica in the scene at the end of "The Bridge", but at the end of my second novel "The Ship" I had my other two major characters Julie and Cassandra showing up on the scene seconds later.
Now, I figured adding Cassie and Julie would be easy and I wouldn't have to change too much of the scene I'd written for "The Door". Oh there might be a few details here and there, but nothing too major, right? That's what I kept telling myself two weeks ago...
This is how I feel now...
I swear it feels like I'm rewriting just about every sentence, every word, even the commas and periods! Why? Because I wanted to have my four main characters back together right away and so did my audience. In doing this, I changed the entire dynamics and course of events that followed. The main story is following close to the original plan, but the dialogue and actions changed dramatically.
Furthermore, I've also had to remove other characters and events I had planned from later parts of the book as well, because they don't fit anymore. Yet, I'm not disappointed or sorry to see them go. The story I has had it going originally was becoming too complicated. I needed to simplify things a bit. Plus, thanks to "The Ship" I was able to introduce certain new characters there who would be appearing in this third installment, thus simplifying some of the upcoming scenes.
There's still plenty of intrigue and mystery in store for my readers with "The Door". But it's taking a slightly different form than what I'd originally envisioned, which in my opinion is for the better. There's still a long haul ahead, but sometimes you need to walk away from a book you're working on in order to get new ideas and a fresh perspective.
But if you do this, be prepared to be flexible and ready to jettison parts or even entire ideas, chapters, or characters from the story. DO NOT DELETE them though. Save those fragments and put them in special file on your computer. Just because they're no longer useful for this story, you might find they have a life of their own that may give birth to a whole new idea down the road.
Rewriting may not always be fun, in fact it can be downright infuriating at times. However, it can be a very effective tool to help you create a much better product for your audience.
Until next time, take care and keep writing.