Rewrites

22-06-2010

The last rant based on the events of the weekend. It only took me three days to chronicle (not the Roommate ones) the events of the weekend. Maybe that's a sign that I pack too much into too short a time�frame. Having no concept of time doesn't really help in these matters either.

Now, the last thing that I got up to over the weekend.

As most folk might now (although I don't think I announced it on The Bauble) I finished the first draft of my book recently. To be precise I finished the first draft of the second book, but the first book isn't really all that great so I won't be pushing it any further I don't think.

This book has been, literally, ten years in the writing as I mentioned before. With all the stops and starts, restarts, computer issues, general life getting in the way. It was a labor, just a labor, no love involved. Having started it again for the unknown number of times I was determined to stick with it. To finish it, fully, right to the end.

I'd done the Creative Writing Dip, I'd read the books, I'd plotted it out to the last scene. This time it would get finished.

Roughly eight months later, it was. A big moment for me, make no mistake. My best mate, who has been following this constant story since it started, wagered that the world might end some day if I ever did manage to finish the story.

Guess I should have taken that bet.

But, as anybody that has written anything will tell you, writing draft one is not the end of the war. It is the start of it. You have before you a work that contains, more less, your soul. Now you have to destroy it, tear it apart, read over it and improve upon it.

Delete a scene here, change some speech there. Polish that rough diamond within an inch of its life and then take that final inch as well.

This process started on Sunday. I had left the manuscript alone for about a week, maybe even a little more, and it was time to begin looking at it anew.

If you think writing a book is hard, try rewriting one. You have to force yourself to read through every word on the page. You can't just skim over it because you already know how it goes. Why? Because you will miss things.

The first chapter alone had seven words in it that were spelt correctly, they just weren't the right word for that sentence. Like forgetting the "e" from "made". A spell checker saw "mad" and went, yep that is fine. Since it was.

Other things I had to go over as well. Like half way during the story I changed the title of one of the characters without realising it, but liked the new title. The old title had to be removed from the chapter.

It was a long process. But no doubt it will be worth it.

As of now I have two chapters redone, with scenes added and changed and removed and lines of dialogue fixed up. Only eighteen more chapters to go.

My original goal was to have the first draft done by the end of June. That was one target that I met. Now I need to set a new goal, one to aim for to have the rewrites completed before or by. I think I can do it by the end of August but I will say the middle of September to give some wiggle room.

What's more, I have already started to look around for agents and publishers and the likes. I found one operation that is based in Clontarf, just down the road from me. They have a rule about manuscript submissions, requesting the first fifty pages along with a summary of the entire story. They also don't want a story that hasn't got a finished manuscript. I may be blurring the lines a little on my understanding of finished. But I figure that if I send off the first fifty and continue to do the writing while waiting for the feedback it wouldn't be the worst plan of action in the world. I hear it can take months for writers to get even a "Please Fuck Off And Never Write Again" from the publisher/agent types.

I might be needing some proof readers as well further down the line. Sign up in the comments section :D. The lady friend is already signed up to the task, since she read each chapter as I finished it, so she has no option but to read the updated ones as they go :).

Blue_jester




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