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Re-writing

Writing my second novel was the easy part. My son was a sleepy angel who would wake me for a 5:30/6am feed then sleep til 8am and go to bed at 9pm (obviously there were naps during the day as well) allowing me to get up early and stay up late without exhausting myself and I used this fabulous month to tap the novel out of my brain and onto the page.

I printed it out as soon as I’d run spell check and tried very hard to wait a fortnight before editing(a well-known writer’s trick that is supposed to ‘distance’ you from the words you wrote).

The entire editing process has been painfully slow. I’m only about two thirds through. I wrote the novel faster than this. The lethargic pace is partly due to my son not being so generous with his bed times (babies love to change up their schedules every few months). The other (read: larger) problem was that something was wrong, but it was eluding me.

In my earlier posts I told you all that my writer’s group sure as heck knew what the problem was. As soon as my problem was identified I was full of ideas and went back through that first chapter and a half and rewrote probably 90% of it. A few lines and paragraphs made it through alive, but the remainder were slaughtered as sacrifices to the Muse.

It’s very interesting to see how much a simple idea (or hint or tip) can help you. It’s just as interesting to see how much of a problem the same ‘simple’ idea can be when it remains unidentified.

Has anyone else found this to be true?

2 Comments


  1. // Reply

    I think I’ll probably find it to be true….

    Way waaaay back in January 2010, LC and Sapph went camping for a week and I stayed home to write. I ended up with 28,000 words of a fledgling novel and sought feedback from two friends. Their advice was excellent but, since then, I haven’t touched it. When I do think of it, I realise how much of it I want to change.

    Oh and I’ve started a different novel here – 10,000 words – that I haven’t gone back to (yet) in four months, and a second novel a year ago (10,000) that’s probably the one I’m most interested in continuing.

    Blogs are so much easier, y’see and if there’s a paid writing gig I’ll drop everything to do it.


    1. // Reply

      You’re right, blogs are a lot easier. It took me ten years of half-hearted, on and off writing before I finished my first draft of ‘Storybook Perfect’ – quite possibly because every time I went back to it I edited all that I’d previously written before adding more. If you really want to finish, you will one day.

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