New Starts, Old Characters

Hello everyone! I’m running a bit late this morning but I’m here. The hubby is off for 7days! 7 whole days! That’s exciting and terrifying at the same time!! But anyhow, today I’m reading the first three chapters of a book I started Thursday. I have so many things going on and none of them truly complete. What I should be working on is my third cowgirl book which is halfway done. I need it done and turned into my editor within the month so I can stay on the schedule I gave myself. Is it going to happen? I just don’t know. Nothing seems to be going right with that book. I’ve started and stopped and restarted it several times now. In all honesty if I added up all the words I’ve written then deleted then written again on it I’d have a full length trade market size book! But nothing seems to be just the way I want it.

So as I was complaining about this to my critique partner last week she mentioned hoping that I’d one day take a look at the second book I ever wrote, the first book she ever critiqued of mine, and redo it. I said, HELL TO THE NO! Then two minutes later I was pulling up a new document and typing like a mad woman. I have written the first three chapters of it and am now layering it as I don’t think I went deep enough. 

Now I’m asking myself why I never sat down and redid this book? I think it was because I didn’t want to do a rewrite of it. So instead of rewriting what I had I just started new. I kept most of my characters but changed the setting around a bit (she’s still living in Oak Alley, and a coon ass !!) but she’s no longer centuries old nor is she a sugar cane farmer. No, now my main character is a geneticist who is trying to reverse the effects of her mate bond so she can be free.

I think my critique partners science is rubbing off on me. I love science, really I do but I never really wanted to use it in my books but after reading hers I want to use genetic modification in mine now. I am a huge supporter of genetic modified crops(yes, shocking but…) so now I want to genetically modify my characters!

So when facing the option of rewriting or restarting what do you do? Do you say to hell with it, let’s do something new? Or do you take a scalpel and cut and stitch that manuscript back together?

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4 Responses

  1. I’m a restarter. I had to put one story aside last week to clear my head and decided to give another story idea a try. I changed the heroine, changed the basic purpose of the book, and now I can’t stop writing.

    I always hear “don’t delete anything” but sometimes you have to cut the dead tissue away to make room for growth (or something like that).

  2. Sigh. Sitting here wondering if I’m the only person who writes a full MS that I set aside for a couple weeks, then head back in with a machete to hack out the undergrowth! That delete key is major for me to condense things into a more manageable –and intended– form.

    Have to admit on occasion I’ve smacked a hand to my forehead and hollered “So THAT’S where it should start!” But the more I write the less I’ve had to rearrange and delete, so practice does make things easier.

    Well, that and a good synonym finder. I’m a sucker for that perfect word, and will worry things until I find it.

  3. I am also a re-writer. I will go back and add layering like you mention- in fact, I’m doing that now on one of mine. AND as you know, I layered another one I thought was done at 55,000 words, made it 70,000. and then re-did it again and it is 88,000. So, yep. I’m def. a re-writer.

  4. Hope your rewrites go well. You’ve done well so far, so listen to your intuition. Meanwhile, enjoy that time with husband. RitaVF

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