Once upon a time I wrote a blog post like this:
Haha. Now I’m here to add to this. Because I had to rewrite the book again! I thought this would be a good time to talk about it because I just submitted the book on Saturday. I haven’t received edits back, which is fantastic. This way I can write this blog post without knowing if I need to rewrite the book again. I’m hoping no, because I really put my heart into the new draft. I suppose as authors we put our heart into every draft though. Sometimes, there are other issues. Like the technical issues.
One of my problems on the last draft was the structure. I had to go back and rearrange the scenes. This resulted in deleting a lot of words.
Before when I rewrote the story, I had time to think about it. This time, I was on a deadline and needed to get it done. Luckily, when I went back and read the original draft, I understood what my Editor was talking about. But it was still very difficult to delete some of my favorite parts.
I started to learn the key ingredients of a book.
I guess the first thing is the characters. I needed to make sure they were on the page like they were in my head. They weren’t. I think they are now though. *crosses fingers*. The second is that every major event needs to have a catalyst. Things of major importance need to have a reason. I think I fixed this, as well. *crosses fingers*. Finally, there needs to be goals for everyone, and the goals should conflict among the main characters. These are things we’ve all heard before, but it’s much harder to actually pull off in a manuscript.
The key to my rewrite was reading craft books and keeping my story and my specific characters in mind. I found it really helped. The books I read were:
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy
I recommend both.
For writers, is there any key lesson you learned during edits? For readers, is there something about a book that stands out most to you? Whether it’s characterization, setting or plot?