May 9, 2012

back at it

With a freshly printed copy and Mr. Bingley watching over
my shoulder, I'm back at work on my inaugural novel.
Last week I went somewhere I was not certain I would ever return to: revising the first book I wrote, then abandoned. After unsuccessfully querying the book during summer 2011, I came to the realization that the story, though fun in many ways, needed work.

So I wrote a second draft. Then a third. I had critique buddies read it. And not read it. Finally, a literary agent told me what I needed to hear: get to the point faster, strengthen the voice and make the point more clear. In short, the book needed a lot more work than I ever imagined.

At the time, I was gearing up to participate in National Novel Writing Month 2011. Frustrated with myself and the story's direction, I made the tough decision to table my debut novel. I still wanted to tell the story, but at that moment I knew I could not handle completely transforming something I loved so much as it was.

Fast forward to last week. My second completed novel is out for critique and awaiting feedback. My 100 pages are done for Script Frenzy. My next book is on hold until I can begin it for Camp NaNoWriMo in June. I needed a project in the interim.

So I went back to the first book.

Like a good writing buddy, Bingley
judges me for letting the edits go
untouched. Get off my back, Bing.
Since abandoning it last fall, it has not been far from my mind. I have a few new Word documents, post-it notes and scribbles on scratch paper to prove it. Now, I feel ready to tackle the project again, because that absence made me face the reality of my situation: this story will die, and never be told, unless I make it better. And this time I am up to the challenge. I resolved some of the issues I -- and others -- had with the story and pacing. This time around, I know how to make the story is stronger. Like the cliche says, I am older and wiser. I have the confidence to do it.

I am back in edit mode, and ready to cut and re-write like never before. Wish me luck.

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