Gotta Dig a Little Deeper

So I started this blog a year ago…whoops, sorry, blog, I missed our anniversary by almost a month! During that year, I sent out queries to literary agents for my novel and came up dry. Oh, woe is me, with an upcoming conference and lots of time on my hands, what’s a writer to do?

Back to the drawing board it is!

Right now, my novel feels like a car with its hood open and tires off, which is a little unsettling considering how my last revision was supposed to be.  But up until this summer, I’ve been a little lazy with my rewriting. I cut corners and did everything I could to avoid adding fresh writing because mentally I was ready to be done. And then Zack, one of my best friends and beta-readers, suggested I throw away a bunch of unimportant characters and toss out the first few chapters.

I agreed with him! I actually hated those chapters because they were boring, but I had clung to them because I absolutely loved my very first scene and couldn’t keep it without keeping the boring chapters as well. Ultimately, I sacrificed that precious scene for the good of the novel as a whole. Simple enough, right? Problem solved?

Hah! If you’ve never done it before, you might think so, but the problem with cutting a big chunk of your beginning is that you have to put all the info in those chapters into the new already written chapters. Which takes about the same amount of time as starting from scratch and writing those sections all over again. But it’s harder than the first draft because it’s nearly impossible for me to remember what readers do/don’t know already!

Enter my good friend Nick! He was nice enough to donate his eyes to the cause by reading each new chapter as I finish it and telling me where things were confusing or repetitive. He’s also incredibly enthusiastic about the characters, which always helps me feel more excited about a project that, let’s face it, seems to be taking forever to finish.

The good news is that all the ducks should be back in their proper rows before the conference, so if any literary agent asks, I’ll be able to say quite honestly that it is finished and in better shape than ever!


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