I have to wait how long?

This past weekend, I finished the first rewrite of Wishful Thinking.  Five minutes after, a funny thought occurred to me: I couldn't wait to go back and reread it from the beginning.  And I wanted to do that right then.

I wrote this for the first time during the 2009 NaNoWriMo, the idea one I'd been kicking around for  months before.  I wrote somewhat faithfully to the first outline I drafted in October and breezed through the first draft.  I even hit my 50k words well before the November 30th deadline.  Still, I worked on, reaching The End in December at 63k.

Took the draft with me on the plane heading east for the holidays.  Read the first chapter and realized it all sucked.  Really bad.  The climax scene was anything but.  I know the common rule is to read from page one until the last without editing but I couldn't imagine wasting several hours on something I was going to rip to shreds.

So I didn't.  I put the manuscript away for almost all of January.  When I came back to it, I grabbed the first chapter and pulled out what I liked.  The plot had changed dramatically so chapter two was a goner.  Unfortunately, so was chapter three, most of four, all of... well the rest.  I think out of the first edition, I've kept about 20k words.  Even that might be a stretch.  

At the least,  I've learned I'm fairly detached from my work.  I've learned lots more stuff too and will chat about it in the coming days when I'm trying not to go back in and peek.  I'm not sure what my reaction is going to be when I reread in a couple of weeks, but I know this plot is stronger and more interesting the way I've rewritten it.  Lasting a couple of weeks is going to be the hard part.    

~  I was a laser-guided missile the last several days.  The three loads of washed and dried laundry in piles on my bed can attest to it.  As can the receipts scattered on the counter from a take-out/eat-out frenzy.  As can children who look at me and say, mommy?  Well, not really, they all still remember me, but I holed up as much as I could and cranked out the last 4k words.

~ 75,471 words, the majority fresh.  Which means for Wishful Thinking, I've written at least 130k words.  Letting that sink in.

Photo courtesy of Francesco Marino


Kristie Cook said...

130K words? That's nothing! Before I split my first novel into two, it was at one point 180K words. And I've rewritten the majority of them, some chapters more than once. I think I've written the equivalent of five books by now. LOL

But that's what makes us better and our novels stronger. Wishful Thinking is ever closer to being awesome. And good for you for staying away. I could never do it but will try my hardest on the next one.

Kelly R. Morgan said...

I've been watching shows on Hulu and getting sucked into reading new blogs in my attempts to keep my eyes off "the thing". I also might try a short story. Again.

180K words? At once? I bow. That's hefty. But I am with you on the rewriting - I know I'll be doing more of it. Small matter of a subplot that should be expanded to punch it up and a scene I wasn't sure about but kept going.

It's a wonder any writer goes and reads their novel in finished book form. By the time it gets there...I'm going to be crying "uncle"!

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