WHEN TO REWRITE YOUR NOVEL
Posted on December 16, 2012
You've finished your manuscript and done all your edits, but a beta reader says it doesn't work. As the author, you know the reader is just plain wrong. Your novel is perfect. Or is it?
Well, Go-For-It Gopher is done. It awaits corrections, but I expect to see it published next weekend.
Something that arose at the tailend of this project was the necessity to rework the climax. Or in this case, actually put a climax into the story.
See, it's funny what writers do when we're done a project. We know the weak points structurally. If our stories were blocks of wood or concrete waiting to be chopped in two, we'd know exactly where to strike. More often than not, we correct those spots before sending them along to our beta readers. Sometimes, we pass them on, hoping the instability is slight enough that the person earnestly combing over our story passes it by. It's all a bit lazy on our parts really. Yet, I do it all the time. Maybe not in big ways like it turned out to be with this book, but it still happens with every book.
This problem proved to be too yawning to forgive. I had no climax. Keith called me on it and I had to fess up.
Immediately, my mind went to work. This aspect of writing makes me feel so alive. I didn't solve the story issue at the keyboard. It got solved as my mind did other tasks – in the shower, driving to the grocery store, putting up Christmas decorations. Throughout the past three days, I added four chapters to the book in five sessions of about twenty minutes each. I was elated at knocking out 3000 words over one weekend. The desire to see the book fixed pushed me to write faster, and I think I have a much stronger book because of this. In fact, I know I do. Heck, Go-For-It Gopher now contains a pet black hole and weaponized hula hoops. You tell me it's not a better beast for the reworking.
All kidding aside, the thrill of sheperding a creation to its final destination, the eyes of genuine readers, has me continually excited and surprised each time I sit down to write a new chapter. Thank you so much for taking a chance on my creations.
Hope this blog post gave you a little insight into the challenges and rewards of creating fiction, even when it's the simple tale of a crimefighting gopher.