Monday, July 30, 2007

Re-visioning the revision

After several a couple of spectacularly unsuccessful weeks spent trying to revise the novel to re-submit to my agent, I came to the realization that I was going about it all wrong. I had thought it would be a matter of massaging the manuscript a bit, inserting a few scenes, strengthening a couple of characters. All the while feeling discouraged, because I sensed that the manuscript was going to seem very jerry-rigged indeed.

And then I understood that it would have to be completely re-written. Completely. Oh, I'd have the same cast of characters, with a least one new one. But they'd have to change considerably, as would many of the defining scenes.

I spend a couple of days moping about this, until I realized that a complete re-write would be considerably easier than trying to rassle and hog-tie my current version into shape. Plus, I decided to use Scrivener, a terrific piece of software that bills itself as a project management tool for writers, to develop the new story. So far, it's working! Tra-la-la!


Speak(er) said...

Isn't it amazing what we can do today that not so long ago meant manually re-typing each page (or horrors, if you go back farther hand-writing)! Rework is so hard - the thrill and freshness and enthusiasm that accompany the first draft are gone. It's hard not to think of edits as criticisms. Don't be afraid to step back and keep the big picture close at hand. Hang in there - the best is yet to come.

Sara Latta said...

Thanks so much, Lu. I need all the encouragement I can get.