So, in 2012 I participated in NaNoWriMo. My long-time blogger friends might remember my frenzy posts at 2am trying to beat the word-count. Or at least meet the damn thing. Well, I did. I finished it. I got my little award and I was psyched. I loved my story, I really did. I thought it was an amazing story with a ton of great characterization and details and world-building and tension. I adored the thing.
And the truth is, it was kind of crap. (Well, duh, since it was written in a month whilst trying to meet a 50,000 word count, so the language is a bit flowery, I didn’t have any contractions in the manuscript, and I wrote the rest of the thing in an after-NaNo haze because I thought it was a good idea.)
But I loved it anyway.
I dug it out of storage last year and re-read it. I thought, yeah, it’s okay. I like that weird character POV switch in the middle. The intensity of mysterious main characters. And I can get used to the flowery prose. You may also remember my exclamation that I wanted to self-publish the thing in November of 2013?
Well, I didn’t.
I sent it off to some writer friends first, and let me tell you, a flash of brilliance, that was.
Honestly, I was distraught when people didn’t fall in love with the first few chapters. When they were confused about the characters. When they pointed to the mid-story-addition of a new POV and laughed. (Okay, not laughed, but when they pointed it out and arched an eyebrow, I did because, come-on, what was I thinking?)
Anyway, because of the comments I’ve received thus far and because of my own ideas of how to make the story better, I decided to re-write a bunch of chapters, slice chapters (and POVs) out, and even add another layer to the current main characters. I’m pretty much in major editing/writing mode, where I tear the thing to shreds, pick up the pieces that I do like, and try to stitch it back together as a better version of itself.
The only problem I’m finding is that re-directing a novel that’s already written is hard. HARD! I like certain pieces of the older version but trying to stuff them into the newer version seamlessly is like trying to stuff a hippo into a grocery bag. It doesn’t fit so well. I end up cut and pasting, only to delete most of the older stuff anyway.
AND I have to figure out how to write this new direction. I already have my chapters laid out pretty well (written in a lovely untidy scrawl across multiple note-book pages), but the motivation of certain characters were muddled in the original and now fixing them is taking a bit of time.
No, never mind, it’s taking A LOT OF TIME!
But I figure, it’s okay. I’m beginning to like where this newer version is going. How the characters are developing. Yes, it’ll take time to re-write everything… and then go back and edit the thing once I’m done re-writing it.
But that’s okay.
I think the finished product will be pretty damn good.
Of course, I’ll send it off to some other readers first.