One month has flown by since my last blog post. Why?
Because I’ve been revising LUCKY THIRTEEN.
Tricky business, this. I’ve had to make my bad guy badder, strike out the strychnine (sorry, Agatha), re-plot the plot, and research everything from insulin pumps to St. Catherine to how to write like a staff reporter. And I killed a whole mess of darlings along the way. It’s been simultaneously exciting and exhausting.
My book has changed.
Not that I expected to bang something out in X months (I’m not telling how many), watch my literary baby spin through a round robin auction, and hit the bookstores without a single edit, but man, I didn’t see those changes a-comin. And I probably never would have, because every single one of them sprung from pages (and pages) of comments from my literary agent.
From the “I think we could do this…” to “Why does Character A do that?” to “It would be a whole lot better if so-and-so doesn’t hook up with that other person,” I’ve had to re-think hundreds of pages of narrative and dialogue. Let me tell you, that was a hell of a lot harder to do than writing the bloody thing.
Someone said “Writing is rewriting.” Okay, Hemingway said it, but I think more than one person has penned those words in some form or another over the years.
I don’t mind the rewrites or the tweaks or even taking a metaphorical hacksaw to pages and pages of something I thought was really terrific but that ended up not fitting into the new version (or something I thought was really terrific and turned out to be dog shit). If anything, the rewriting process has made me curious.
Think about it.
Have you read The Firm? The Shining? The Silence of the Lambs? (Three delicious books, in my opinion, but feel free to substitute with your preferred flavour of fiction.) None of these — or whichever ones you’ve picked — is in its original form. (Well, maybe The Shining is, because Stephen King is scarily god-like.)
Wouldn’t it be fun to get your hands on the first draft of [insert your favourite author’s opus here] and compare it to what ended up on the shelf at your local Barnes and Noble?
I think it would.
I’ll leave you with that while I tackle the next novel’s outline, knowing in advance that by the time I’m done, it’s gonna be a different — and better — book.