Ever rewritten a draft of your novel?
Now, I am not talking about revising a couple of chapters…I mean rewriting the ENTIRE draft!
I have just finished rewriting 73k words of my draft novel, so this post has been based on my experience.
For noting, this is my current mental and physical state. Swap brunette hair for blonde.
I want to go out and wrestle with the silly person who advised me to rewrite it…oh..um..I have just remembered I came up with the idea of rewriting it. Sigh!
Here are the things you ask yourself after rewriting your draft novel:
- Am I insane? After rewriting your entire draft novel you do question your sanity. Once you start explaining to non-writers that you wrote the first draft over the summer, gave it to some reviewers who thought it was good, decided that it could be better, ripped it up and started again – I guarantee you will be on the receiving end of some very odd looks.
- Was it worth it? You won’t know whether all the pain and suffering was worth it until your reviewers feed their thoughts back to you, but that won’t stop you questioning the amount of time and effort you spent on ONE story.
- Why aren’t my characters talking to me? In my case it is because they have all changed significantly and I have cranked up their suffering. Rewriting your draft novel turns you into one badass and fierce writer. On the rewrite you find yourself snarling “let me at em!”
- Do I secretly find literary pain pleasurable? Rewriting a draft novel is painful as you have to turn your original story and characters inside out. However if you are like me you will look back fondly on all the creative pain and even find yourself craving more of it in the future. Cue more thoughts about whether you are weird / odd and your wicked smile as you add ‘more rewrites in 2017!’ to your literary goals.
- Seriously, what have I done? You will start to doubt all your reasons for rewriting it. Yes the characters lacked depth, the plot didn’t work and the whole thing annoyed you like crazy, but was rewriting it the answer?
- Have I ruined a good story? With a rewrite you run the risk of changing the story and potentially going in the wrong direction. Your reviewers enjoyed the previous draft but what happens if they dislike what you have done to it? I guess this is all part of the fun.
- What have I learnt from this experience? In my case I believe my rewrite has taught me about characterisation, plot structure and self-discipline. On a rewrite it’s so easy to give up the rewrite and just tickle your old draft.
- What the hell happened to me at 40K words? I don’t know what it is about 40k words, but I went through some dark times. On the first draft 40k words was a strange place, but it was nothing to compared to what I experienced on the rewrite. Loved ones have informed me I had a haunting look about me for days at the 40k mark and writer friends have said that I did go a bit peculiar. It was so bad my memory of that time is now foggy and patchy.
- Could I rewrite it again? Ugh!
- What’s my name / who am I? After a rewrite, you emerge from your writer cave bleary eyed, looking like a shadow of your former self and not remembering anything from your previous life.
Have a great day – I am off to recover
Photo: woman in hat – Upsplash.
Photo: woman on floor – photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/42305475@N03/8350993877″>loneliness is such a sad affair</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>