As you may know if you’ve been perusing my (sadly infrequent) posts on this blog, I am in the midst of rewriting my first novel, Capacitance. It goes without saying that I have mixed feelings about this rewrite.
The first, by far, is confusion. Here is this story, that I wrote, that I identify with, but that I also know contains a lot of complete crap. When you write like I do, spontaneously, not from an outline, by default a lot of word vomit and stream of consciousness prose hits the page as you try to keep writing anything and everything. Now instead of filling pages, I am chopping things out, leaving myself with snippets of story that are still good and usable.
Now the question is, how do I use them? Do I construct a rewrite around these snippets from the first draft or do I go in cold and write a new book, referencing and using stuff from the first draft? Each sounds like it stands a chance to become a weird mash-up that doesn’t flow. Like when I wrote the first draft I will just go with the flow and see where that leads me, narrative-wise.
Finally, the worst, most frustrating thought is “should I have even started the second and third books before focusing on the first??” I have a large wave of panic roll through me at the thought that maybe I wrote almost 500 pages of text in the sequels for nothing. Plus my prose style gets better as the books go on. I want to save those interactions, or at least some of them. I’m hoping to find some common ground where I can keep most of the dynamic in the subsequent books, but not let them dictate the initial novel.
So while I would love to bestow some helpful advice on how to go about your rewrite, I’m afraid I can’t offer any that makes too much sense. The process will be different for each person. As with any writing project, persistence is key. Keep on trying until something sticks. Another goal would be to never give up. I was overzealous last year in my goals to be published, but even though I admit that, it doesn’t mean I’m giving up on the effort. With that in mind, I am finally going to commit to booking a spot at the Writers League of Texas conference this June. I am not confident that I will have my rewrite done by then, but I do hope to have a solid pitch nailed down for the rewrite that will show some agents how invested I am in making this book work.