From its first incarnation, this contemporary romance was ruthlessly reworked;
the character on the cover received a new name and personality.
I've been involved in a textile arts exhibition showcasing items which the artist has revisited, upcycled, recycled, remodelled, or transformed in some way. Think jeans cut off above the knee, rebirthed as shorts and decorated with bright fabric, or, with appropriate stitching, reappear
As I chopped up boring old scarves into sections and reassembled them onto a length of fabric, the new cloth to metamorphose into a wrap, I thought about how I use the rethinking terms for this kind of creativity in my fiction writing.
With all my novels, having reached what I initially consider to be the final draft, I print them out and put them aside for an indefinite time. I do enjoy editing and prefer to edit this "final version" on hard copy.
Write without fear. Edit without mercy.
(Quotation found on Internet, source unknown.)
For me, returning to a manuscript always reveals assorted plot holes, inconsistencies, repetitions,weak characters and other glitches. Class Act (not its original name) remained in the drawer for the
A major revision was required.
The prologue had to go, all 4000 words of it. Necessary information was salvaged and worked where appropriate into the first and second chapters, which also better defined the personalities of the protagonists. Realising I was making more changes to her than to him and to some of the scenes together, I severely chopped up and altered her backstory, reassembling the pieces into a shorter and more credible version (her one-time Mexican lover was not necessary), and stitching bits into the story where relevant.
A number of secondary characters lost their places (she did not need to have a childhood nanny with whom she keeps in touch). I found several scenes which did not move the story along. Some were beyond redemption and permanently discarded (whyever did they go to the zoo?); those I had fun writing and wanted to keep received remodelling so that they did provide forward momentum (adding a thunderstorm while they were eating outside at a restaurant nudged their growing attraction up several notches); others could be reconstructed and their timewise position in the story relocated. These and many other repairs, including a re-vamped ending, in this extensive revision transformed both the energy and the length of Class Act, sending about 30 000 words to the bin.
And now, it's time to take out another manuscript from its incubation in the drawer. I'm wondering how much editing will be required for this one!
Enjoy your reading. Priscilla.