Elswyk’s Moon. (I talked about my first novel the last time I was here.)
Once I decided that I was really going to do
it, I was really going to go back and rewrite the thing, I knew the first thing
I needed to do was to read through the whole thing and see what was there. I
pulled up the manuscript and attempted to load it onto my nook… [technical
difficulties] …and then I sat back and read through what I had.
Chapter one was okay. It’ll need a polish, but it won’t need
any major surgery. Chapter two needs to be cut entirely.
Chapter two started a subplot about a custody dispute. I guess I could make it work, but as I pondered the plot of the novel, I realized that it just wasn't necessary. It doesn't do much more than distract from the central conflict of the story—someone’s trying to kill the king. I can lose that
whole story line and not lose anything that I need.
So, going in to chapter three, I felt pretty confident. I
can do this. Then I read chapter three.
Oh. My. God-awful.
I was floored. I wondered why I got no nibbles on this
manuscript. Now I know. Chapter three is a 3000-word long what not to do.
The thing is, now I see it. Now I see exactly what is wrong
with it. And all of those mistakes are fixable.
I thought I’d share what I've learned with you.
Because, as long as we continue to practice and learn, we
will get better. And we can improve our writing. Just so long as we try.
How about you? Have you ever gone back to read through an
old manuscript only to find that you know exactly how to fix it?