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Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Joys of Re-Writing A Novel

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Re-writing a novel is the most incredible experience!

Yeah, sure, I whine a lot about re-writing too. It takes just forever, there are a lot of stops and starts, you have to do the cyber-equivalent of yanking a piece of paper out of the typewriter, crumbling it up and tossing it then starting over again. You write yourself into corners then have to find your way out again. What seemed like a strong plot point when you started can sometimes dry up and fly away late in the manuscript.

Still…it’s fun!

Seriously. It IS fun.

Otherwise why would I invest literally years of my life into doing it?

You heard that right, oh ye attention deficit lads and lasses. It can take years. To write one little book.

And it’s worth every single moment. Just for the joy of the journey. It’s like making a complicated recipe for a multi-tier cake. It doesn’t truly become a cake until you add the ingredients, one at a time. Then you bake it up and build it layer by layer.

That’s what’s so enthralling about writing a novel. Sure, I had this grand story in my head when I started, but even I the writer didn’t fully understand all the nuances that would be required to write it. But re-write after re-write, those plots get stirred in, those puzzle pieces get solved in my writer’s mind, and I build my story, block by block.

It’s what keeps me coming back for more.

I simply can’t wait till the time comes for me to start my next novel, and see how what I learned from writing this one affects how I go about doing my next. Sure, we writers want to be published, have some extra income, blah blah blah. But the joy truly is in the journey. And I want to enjoy every last bit of it.


Unknown said...

I agree- the rewriting process is full of shock and awe. Shock: I write this? this is actually good! Awe: I did this to my character? Awe... poor guy/gal. LOL

It is a rewarding experience to see how far I've come in the craft at times, and other times, it is eye-opening how badly the wip needs that rewrite! LOL

Great post, Brenda!

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

LOL - good post, Brenda. Editing is fun to a point. After a while, I get tired with the story and then I am afraid I am mauling the poor thing rather than helping it. Sure does make you appreaciate anyone who has actually finished and published a book.

BK said...

Interestly, I don't think of re-writes as editing. I don't know how the publishing world at large views the definition of "editing" or if it is used interchangeably, but to me the editing is the really dull part---checking for how many was's you used and if you have any evil adverbs, etc.

To me--rewriting is those numerous trips through the story layering in subplots or making your plot more clear by adding a scene here, deleting one there.

I will have to be dragged to the page kicking and screaming when it comes times for edits. But the rewrites I love.