T is for… The Rewrite!

Okay, so using ‘the’ to claim a T is a bit of a cheat but I’m so stoked that I need to share my triumph. *Drumroll*

cat-gif-playing-drums-4

I finished my rewrite of The Lost Weaver this week.

Well, when I say ‘finished’, I mean I finished the writing part. I still need to edit it, after I’ve let it rest a little while.

I began the rewrite after receiving some great feedback from publisher, Gollancz, following their open submissions period. They had it for a year, and I got through to the 3rd and final round of reading but the novel just wasn’t quite ready for publication.

Gollancz feedback

This was the postcard they sent me

I was gutted, of course, but also grateful and encouraged by the feedback. I let it stew a while and eventually it nagged at me enough to make me open up the Scrivener file and have another look. They were right, of course. I needed to revisit and fix the pacing at the beginning. I was trying put too much into the opening chapters of the novel.

Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. After fixing the pacing, I continued and fixed all the other little (and big) things that didn’t quite work if I was truly honest with myself. The main complaint from my writing group was that there were too many names in the opening chapters: place names, people names, race names. So, I fixed that by introducing secondary names more slowly.

I didn’t like the origin story of my magic using character, so I rewrote that. I rewrote whole chapters, completely, and fixed the continuity in others. I deleted chapters, and characters (minor ones) and I wrote thousands of new words (and a couple of new characters). Of course, that leaves me with another problem because even though I’ve deleted so much, I’ve still managed to add another 25,000 words, bringing the total to 143,000.  Even for an epic fantasy, that’s a bit long (especially for a first novel!). When I do pick it back up to edit, I’m going to have to be ruthless.

So, what did I do after the euphoria wore off? I got out my trusty pen and notebook and I brainstormed a new novel idea. I was going to work on the sequel to the Lost Weaver, which I abandoned at 80,000 words to go back and fix the first book, but I want to wait until after I’ve edited the first book so I can keep the continuity.

Plus, I need something non-epic to work on for my MFA, as the word count limit on that project is 70,000.

The new story involves an older main character: a witch approaching her sixtieth birthday, with a talking raven for a familiar. I’m not going to say any more as I don’t want to take away any momentum from writing it, but you can bet she’s going to be a lively character.

I’m also working on another story involving the sisters Edie and Mabel, from my short story, ‘They Never Remember.’  Since Plasma Frequency, who originally published it, are no longer around, (and the rights have reverted back to me), I’ve published it here. The new story involves a bird house that has an unusual resident.

So what have you been up to this week?

 

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8 thoughts on “T is for… The Rewrite!

  1. Great post once again. Very interesting to read about the process of publishing and the feedback you received – it must be very hard and disappointing to not quite get the response you want, but it looks like you have really tackled it head on and reworked your book! Good luck i really hope it works out when you re-submit.

    • Thank you! It is disappointing at first. But after several rejections where I just got a form letter back along the lines of, ‘no thank you, this isn’t for us, good luck elsewhere’, the feedback was valuable. So once I got over the disappointment, I got to work! 🙂

      • Well done to get back to it. I haven’t experienced that yet. I have had some good constructive feedback from friends and family but nothing from the ‘industry’. Hope i take it as well as you have!

      • Gin helps! 😁. It also helps to be prepared for disappointment, and take every rejection as an opportunity to learn something. And also to celebrate the successes (like your contest win).

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