Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Dreaded Rewrite.

I'm working on a full rewrite of Blood of the Succubus (formerly known as The Manic Pixie Dream Girl Murders.)

Bren did a great job of critiquing it. I was already doing considerable rewriting while addressing her suggestions. I may as well really bear down, beginning to end.

The Last Sombrero was going well, but I'm going to leave it for now to work on the other books.

Both The Last Fedora and Blood of the Succubus were complete, and I'd planned to send them off...but....

I've decided I can probably write at my current level forever. Which is fine. But if I want to make progress, I really need to try to take a step up.

So from now on, I'm going to give every book one more full rewrite, even when I think they're finished, because I've discovered that there are still enough improvements when I do this to make it worthwhile.

It takes up to a full month to do a thorough job.

I flesh out the story with telling details, smooth out story inconsistencies, and strengthen connections.

I don't LIKE doing it. But I can see the value. Taking one more month per book to make them better just makes sense.

With some firm rules.

1.) I will not change any part of the manuscript that pulls apart the puzzle. That is, if adding or subtracting the piece destroys the whole, I won't do it. Additions or subtractions that don't do this are OK.

2.) I will not obsess over the language to the point where I lose feeling for the story. The dreaded "word-jumble." This is going to take some fine judgement about how little or how much to do, but I've done enough rewriting to think I can negotiate the traps.

Another reason I'm doing rewrites is that I've decided that every book should be 80K words or more, instead of the 60K words I've been doing. 60K words are fine for ebooks, but 80K are better for physical books, and if my ultimate goal is to be in every bookstore, I'd better get started.

Every book I've put out so far has been as good as I knew how to make them. I've got quite a few "trunk books" which may or may not ever be published, but so far, I think I've chosen correctly which stories to pursue.

This is just a continuation of that process.

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