‘Writing is Rewriting’
As the saying goes, ‘Writing is rewriting’ and whilst that’s true of any writing, it’s especially true of Novels. It’s definitely a phrase that’s been rattling around my head this week as I’ve continued to rewrite the final scenes of my novel.
It’s been a productive week, with lots of new words written, but one of the downsides of being more of a ‘pantser’ like me, is that often even a beat sheet or chapter outline can’t save me from heading off in a different direction. Having a character take your plot by the throat and beat it to a bloody pulp can be a thrilling experience – particularly during the actual writing of the scene. Have you ever got to the end of a scene, breathless and empty, thinking how the hell did that happen?! This has happened to me a number of times with Safe Hands and I know it means I’ve created real, living, breathing characters that refuse to submit to the whims of their creator.
On the other hand . . .
Of course, the disadvantage, is that it becomes a very inefficient way to write a draft. The upshot of this week is that although I’ve found a much more satisfying way to conclude the book, I also have to scrap (or at least recycle) a couple of thousand fresh words and rewrite the last chapter AGAIN.
No such thing as a ‘small change’
These new revelations and plot developments then impact other parts of the book – remember The Ripple Effect? – and create more redrafting work for me. Well, boo-hoo, I hear you say. This is what writing a novel is all about. So, you finished a first draft? Big deal? Suck it up and get on with it!
Well, that’s a bit harsh of you to be honest! However, it’s also true to say writing a novel is always a learning experience and as long as I’m doing that and working my way towards a better book, I’m more than happy to roll with the punches.
This week the rewriting will continue, but in addition to the actual writing of the novel, I still need to continue to move forward with my indie publishing plan to release the book on June 24th 2018. This means continuing to research cover artists, investigating freelance editors and considering my sales and marketing plans. So much of my existing knowledge has come from other creative entrepeneurs like Joanna Penn, who I was lucky enough to interview for last week’s Joined Up Writing Podcast, and I continue to learn from her non-fiction books like How To Make A Living With Your Writing, which I highly recommend you check out.
Speaking of non-fiction – I’m now also working on a book to help other writers, which I’ll be telling you more about in the coming months. All I can say for now is that I’m writing it in collaboration with long-time writing buddy, Maria Smith and we’re really excited to get our first non-fiction book into the world next year. Subscribe to my mailing list to be amongst the first to hear about that, and my other projects, as well as being able to pick up some great free stories and other bonus content over the next few weeks and months.
What about you? How are your writing plans coming along? Do you extensively rewrite your drafts? Do you have any tips to share with me or my readers? Let me know in the comments below.