Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oh Dear... The Challenges of Rewriting

I just realized I have to totally rework The Inferiors.

Again.

The first time I had to fix it, luckily I'd only written the first 30K out of what's now 112,000 words.  It was challenging.  Rewriting something you've already written is ridiculously hard!

Fortunately, I only had to rewrite 30,000 words then.

Now?

I've got 112K to sift through.  Hopefully I can keep a lot of it.  There are a few parts I don't want to lose, but the entire thing needs to be shortened.  Reason?

I discovered that the "end" isn't actually a good place to end the story.

In my head, I have a timeline of all three books.  Originally, when I first started writing book 1, I had no idea it was going to be a trilogy.  It was all meant to be one book.  But when I began to hugely exceed the standard YA word count, I had to break it up.

Anyway, my mental timeline includes just about everything in the story, from beginning of book one to the end of book three.  And as I'm going over it, there's no way book 2 can end where it did!  (Trust me, I've read over it like four times and the current ending is lame anyway.)

So, in the end, I guess I'm not rewriting it all.  'Compressing it' is more accurate I guess.

9 comments:

Julie Dao said...

I'm working on a trilogy too and I've already planned everything out through book three. Yet there's more and more story I want to include... and the books keep getting longer and longer. Compression is definitely needed for me as well!

Carrie-Anne said...

I really enjoy rewriting my earliest books, because I've come so far as a writer from the time I first wrote them by hand or even transcribed them and edited them a little. I had a lot of fun rewriting the earliest sections of my first Russian novel last year, and eventually brought it down to a perfect length of 335,000 words. The sequel is 406,000 words, and I'm predicting the third book will be at least 450,000.

E. Arroyo said...

I love first drafts. After that it's all serious work. Sometimes it helps to get other people to read it. =)

fairbetty said...

I'm so excited for you, though! A trilogy!!! I know it's hard to figure out what to keep and what to cut, but in the long run you'll be happy with what comes out of it! If you need help, I promise not to never finish like the last time :) I really did enjoy the Trials. I'd be happy to go through it and give you my perspective.

Hildred said...

Well dang, if you think of it as a "compression" instead of a "rewrite", that should definitely help! One of those is definitely less daunting than the other ;) good luck!

Liz said...

Does it have to be a trilogy? Could you stretch it to 4 or 5 books? Then you wouldn't have to compress them.

davidgmckendry said...

Maybe it should be a Quadrilogy! :) GM

meradeth said...

Good luck! I've had to do the same thing a few times, and it can seem daunting, but I ended up always liking the changes I made, and that improved my opinion of the process :)

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Jess

Thanks for the follow.

Happy editing *smile*

- Mac

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