This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Last week I was trying to work out whether it was a good idea to be rewriting my first book. I’m now 20,000 words and a major new plotline into the rewrite.
The rewrite was going well at first. My writing has come on leaps and bounds in the last two years. My prose has become more descriptive and I think my dialogue has a more natural flow. After the third chapter I thought the rewrite was going to be a doddle until I suddenly realised something was missing in my book.
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I was jumping the gun a little bit and writing a synopsis for the book when I realised that, aside from my main characters having a bit of a romance and flitting around Thailand, not a lot happens. Cue major ‘woe is me I’m an awful writer depression’ at the realisation my book is dull.
I went and moaned to my other half that my book was doomed. I explained to him in all my chick lit books the romance was usually hung on another plot, in Sophie Kinsella’s books there is always a major life crisis be it a work catastrophe or amnesia. Which meant when I looked at the bare bones of my plots and subplots there was something major missing.
My other half, who doesn’t read books, told me to stop writing, to go sit in the garden and think about it. He said eventually I’d come up with another plot to add to the book.
Because I was throwing a wobbly, I huffed out of the room at such a ridiculous suggestion. As if I could just sit there and in an afternoon change the whole essence of a book that I’ve had in my life for two years.
Too stressed to keep on writing – I did end up in the garden. I sat in the sunshine with my writing ideas notebook and a pen and started brainstorming. I came up with ideas from the sublime to the ridiculous, then low and behold, I came up with a big tweak to the plot.
I thought about the ten thousand words I’d written in the rewrite and wondered how much it would effect the existing story. After a few additional paragraphs and a few changes I though that actually this major new plot could work. It would add a fantastic dimension of conflict and actually make it more believable as a story.
I’ve since realised that although coming up with the idea was relatively painless and quick, adding it to the rewrite is not. It reminds me of Back to the Future or time travel, you only need one little minor tweak to a plot, and ripples of change flow through the book. A lot of my old scenes which I really loved no longer fit in the book and its dramatically slowed down the speed I was rewriting at.
But hopefully it will be worth it in the end. If you think about it, it does makes total sense; if I hadn’t changed the plot then I would have ended up writing 80,000 better words than I had – but it still would have been missing that sparkle.
So fingers crossed, that my plot change and improved writing will be enough to make it into amazing novel.