What a mess!
That pretty well sums up my reaction on reading the MS I created last summer and fall. A few years ago, I'd have given up in despair, or just cleaned up the big inconsistencies and called it good. I will take it as proof that I've grown and improved as a writer that I can't do that. Instead, I am working towards a more radical approach I read about recently (and my apologies to the source, because I have no idea): I am going to rewrite the novel. COMPLETELY. I'm working now on character backgrounds and connections (thanks to Lori Robbins in her interview last week!) and then a new outline. Then I will start writing.
Yes, I expect to use some large chunks of the existing story. But I will cut and paste into an entirely new document, and work from the outline to see what happens.
This is a huge experiment for me. The other option was to rewrite so extensively that I worry I would never get all the bits and pieces cleaned up. I want to believe this approach will result in an MS that is definitely well past the first draft stage, and that I can continue to work on without having to let it rest again.
I'm also hoping that the process I'm using--figuring out the characters and their connections, the setting and its history, and eventually the details of the murder and cover-up (as well as the red herrings) will allow me in future to be better prepared when I start the next book.
Meanwhile, the other writer tasks:
*Continue to get this new blog cleaned up and links updated
*Submit at least two stories
*Begin brainstorming for a story I've committed to write in March
All this, while working on clearing out my house in preparation for putting it on the market. On the other hand, I have no travel plans for the next 8 weeks. If I give myself a week to finish the preparations, I can draft the new version in 7 weeks. Watch this space over the next few weeks--I'll report on the progress and how well the experiment works.
|Reminding myself I had a good time making that messy draft!|
©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2022
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