Friends don’t let friends write sucky stories.
while I’m biding my time before I receive my agent revision letter for TATTF*, my pal Maven Darcy sends me a CP revision letter for the story I wrote immediately before that. I had already subjected Maven Lacey to it months earlier and received revision info from her as well.
Unsurprisingly, they both had many of the same things to say regarding areas of room for improvement. (Which probably means they’re, uh, right. *g)
Despite my well-documented allergy to mass rewrites, I am actually excited to get back to this project for several reasons.
One might be because it’s a Regency-set historical, which, although not the genre I first fell in love with reading (as a child, I inhaled a mad mix of Roald Dahl, Madeline l’Engle, Douglas Adams, Piers Anthony, and Stephen King) Regency romances were the genre that I immediately chose when, as an adult, I decided to try my hand at that writing thing again.
Another big reason why I’m excited to go back to Touched is because I’ve long felt it was my abandoned-stepchild novel.
My first two stories weren’t perfect but didn’t totally suck (they garnered requested fulls but no offers of publication, they finalled in contests but never won, etc) and had been relegated to that magical mulch pile under my bed.
Touched was my third story.
The plot bloomed to life one afternoon last August while noshing on free cookie samples at a Panera with CP Kel and CP ‘Manda. I wrote the first word on August 29 and word 85,221 (er, the last word) on September 24. Meaning, the entire thing spewed forth in less than a month.
And then I never looked at it again. Like, ever.
I left immediately after that for a month in Europe, and when I came home from that I had to play catch-up with client work and whatnot, and then it was Thanksgiving and suddenly December, which brought about Miss Snark’s final crapometer and the snowball of karma that produced (I’ll blog about that next week by request *g) and then the next thing I knew, it was August again, and Touched never had a chance.
Well, now it does!
I plan to force myself (yes, force myself!) to be optimistic and cheerful about the revision process, and here’s why:
* Attitude is everything! And it’s something you have complete control over. (Ask Maven Lacey about her iPod trick sometime)
* I’m a much better writer today, in August 2007, than I was then, in August 2006.
I think the reason I held fast to my anti-rewriting stance was that I knew those first stories I wrote were practice novels. I could rewrite them, sure, but they’d never be as good as something I wrote new.
Touched, while imperfect, doesn’t have fatal flaws to the point where the story is irredeemable. And I’m finally confident enough in my abilities as a writer to actually believe rewriting it wouldn’t be a waste of my time, that I can revise it and make it good.
And that’s so exciting for me!
True, chances are excellent it’ll take me exponentially longer to rewrite than it did to write in the first place. But that’s okay. The story is what matters.
I just received my agent’s revision letter for Trevor & the Tooth Fairy! Yay! Hurray! Squee!
*runs off to start revising*
YOUR TURN: Have you ever permanently shelved a book, as I did with my first two stories? If not, why not? If so, how do you decide which books are better off dormant and which books deserve the time it takes to revise them into perfection? What makes you excited to do a mass rewrite (if ever)?