Rewriting: A Strange, New World
So, I think I’ve mentioned my manuscript before (working title: Devil in the Details). I thought it was done. I sent out a few queries, just a few. Nothing came of it.
I felt kind of crappy. I started to think about the manuscript. I recognized some plot holes. I felt like some of the supporting characters were weak. I decided to not think about that. Then, a curious thing happened.
I didn’t query anyone else. I chalked it up to being busy, which is true. But that is also a vile excuse, and I noticed that as I was able to find time to write a bunch of short stories. The truth was that I didn’t want to rehash the book. I needed to, but I kind of felt like I’d failed at it.
Then, something else happened. The other day, I read Kat Howard’s blog about rewriting. It inspired me. But more importantly, she gave me the courage I needed to revist DitD. I like to give credit where it’s due, and since her blog often explodes with inspiration, there you have it. Kat, the sword-weilding writer, is awesome. She also loves Buffy, which makes me happy.
So, yesterday, I started rewriting things. I’d made notes about what didn’t work, what needed to be removed, what should be there but isn’t, and how some characters should be improved. I made it through the first chapter with a better chapter. This morning, I rewrote the second chapter, and it was…fun. Also, extra crazy.
The female lead? Well, I killed off her parents, changed her occupation slightly, gave her a stalker (instead of a crazy ex-boyfriend), and made her best friend into a self-absorbed nitwit. Because it was necessary to the story. It makes it better, more interesting.
I changed a lot of the language too, because it didn’t fit a character. Some of the dialogue was stilted. I had to kill a lot of my darlings. Some of my favorite lines were uncerimoniously axed. But that’s okay. Because it’s not about favorites.
It’s about the story. The words on the page. The book will be better for it.