So before Christmas, I cleared the decks. I graded my finals and I revised and posted all the information on my three online classes for the spring semester at Diablo Valley College and the winter quarter at UCLA. I prepared for my three "land" classes, read manuscripts students sent me, wrote the letters of recommendation that I was asked for, and prepared a lecture/presentation for an event. Then I had Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's, I reread my entire novel, and now I'm going to rewrite it.
Yes, it's that fun time again, and I've done it several times in my writing career. My first novel was such a rewrite, wherein my prospective agent said, "You don't like tension, do you?"
It was my second novel, wherein my then editor said, "You are 49% percent there."
It was my fourth romance, where my current editor said, "You need to blow up the first 80 pages."
I don't weave, but I imagine rewriting a novel is like ripping out threads. Some part of the design just doesn't work for the reader who wants it--who bought it or needs to sell it. I have to be honest here--I like the novels I've written before I've been asked to rewrite them, and that just goes to show you I either don't always know the market (in terms of my own work) or sometimes, we can't see our own work very well. In 350 pages, we've fallen in love with our stories, our characters, and dammit, they are all just fine, thank you very much.
I've learned to let go of that feeling, that stubborn, stick-my-heels-in-the-mud feeling of, "It's beautiful!" So it's back to the loom time, and with this novel, it's a rewrite to add more tension and more sex. Yes, when you see me sitting at my club in the back of the great hall, typing away, you will find me a little tense and writing about sex. Don't sneak up on me, I might already be blushing.
I decided to not rewrite at home because I have a touch of the old HDHD. When I work, I jump up periodically from my computer, run around the house vacuuming, washing the dishes, plucking my eyebrows, and then I come back and write some more. That's all well and good, I suppose, but I have January 5-9 to work my revision mojo. Then school starts up again. The good news here is that my agent wanted it before Christmas, during finals, and I managed to arrange this week in the gym great room with my lap top, no vacuum cleaner, and only a workout to interrupt my day.
My plan is to send updates starting Monday about the writing experience, short blogs from the loom to let you know how it's going (the damn gym is wired, so I will have to fight that distraction).
Today and tomorrow, I'm going over the notes I made on the manuscript. Then I go in. I will keep you posted.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org