ReRouting….No, ReWriting

Shame on me! I haven’t posted since September, but honestly, the book has been a little overwhelming. In my last post, I announced that I’ve decided to rewrite Amelia. If you haven’t read my last few posts, I would love for you to read them so you get the full sense of where I am in the process.

Rewriting is exactly what it sounds like, but “starting over”, is another good way of saying it.  At first, I thought I would simply cut out large portions of my first draft and rewrite them. Yes, that’s the way it starts, but then the domino effect takes hold: One change causes another change, and that change causes another change, and so on and so on. Now, I’ve put away my first draft and it hasn’t seen the light of day in over two months. The names of the characters, except for one, are the only things that have stayed the same. Every other part of the book is on a new journey.

I’ve had people ask me, “Doesn’t it make you mad or upset that you have to start over?”

Plain and simple, my answer is, “No.”

First of all, I don’t HAVE to rewrite my book. Nobody is making me do this. I WANT to rewrite Amelia. There’s a better story to be told; there’s dimension and depth that need to be added.  I’ve created new characters and added more conflict. I’ve also changed my mind on where the book should be set. Learning how to ramp up Amelia has allowed me, and taught me, to enjoy writing even more than when I wrote the first draft.

This speaks loudly of my personality, but when I started writing Amelia, I dove in head first. I didn’t do any research on how to write a novel or what to expect. I’ve never taken a writing course, other than my college English classes, and those had nothing to do about writing a book. I’ve done this by good old trial and error, paired with the love of the written word. This is my passion and I will stand by this book until I’m happy with the finished product.

All that being said, how long will it take for me to finish the rewrite? I wish I knew. Yes, I have a better feel of how to write a book. I have better feel for editing, and I’m learning each day how to be better at rewriting. Having routine calls with my editor definitely helps me stay on track, but I can’t set a time limit or a deadline. I wasn’t very disciplined while writing the first draft, but this time around, I’m dedicated to writing each day. It’s amazing how far one, committed hour of writing each day will take you.

What happens when the rewrite is done? Well, another round of edits. Then we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully, I’ll be closer to having my novel self-published. It’s a process that no one can understand until they do it themselves.

Three last things:

1. Readers, respect the process an author goes through to get their book into your hands.

2. Writers/Authors, never forget the wonderful stories your words create.

3. A journey is never short.

Until next time…

5 Comments

Filed under December 2011

5 responses to “ReRouting….No, ReWriting

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Amy – your posts inspire me! I love that you have come to this self discovery that you *want* to re-write Amelia even though you don’t have to because you know there’s a better story to be found in there. I hope I have that courage some day.

  2. I just followed you on Twitter because several of your tweets interested me (and I just got your acceptance back in my email – thanks!) I just self-published my first SF novella, but it’s not my first book. Back in the l970’s when I first started writing, I read somewhere that no one can be called a writer until they have written a million words. Experience is what you need, and a good plot firmly in mind, with a fully conceived beginning, middle, and end, and interesting characters. You don’t need a writing course. I never had one in my life. Of course, I was an English major and have additional advanced graduate work in the subject, plus a mother who was an original member of the grammar police (I learned most of what I know about the English language from her). So just keep writing, even if your first piece doesn’t turn out as good as you might like. And most of all, enjoy writing! I’ve always said, when I stop enjoying the writing process, I’m going to quit.

  3. Just found you on Twitter and thought I’d check out a few of your posts. I totally understand what you’re saying here. I took my first novel apart and put it back together again, and it proved to make a big difference. If it’s a labor of love (which a self-pub novel is), then you have all the time in the world to make your manuscript good, better, best. Keep it up!

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