I hate to bore everyone with two posts about writing in a row, but screw all ya’ll, writing blogging.
I have a novel. Well I have a few novels, but the important thing is that this novel has become a bit of a project. When I originally wrote the novel, I never expected anything to come of it. I wanted to write something I wouldn’t publish under my own name, a romance novel.
Don’t get me wrong, I write a ton of romance for contract work, and it doesn’t phase me any. I have no problem with it, in essence. When I imagine a career as a writer, it just isn’t the genre I have the most passion for. There are reasons for that, one of the largest being that I don’t agree with all of the genre elements included in your average ‘romance’ novel. Which means that if I wrote a romance novel for me, it wouldn’t have an audience that would be looking for it under ‘romance’.
Either way, the point is that I decided I would write a romance novel, and then I did, like 3 years ago now. I decided to twist the idea wherever I could. It ended up having way too many sex scenes, being more of a modern fantasy, and being focused on a male lead who doesn’t do ‘romance’ so well. As expected, I screwed the ‘romance’ pooch, and didn’t even stay for breakfast.
Now I want to edit the story. Somewhere between doing something people don’t expect of me (I’m mostly known for writing humor stories), and writing about topics that interest me (religion, relationship dynamics, and the function of sex in society), I wrote a novel that I can’t give up on. It sucks, but I love the darn book.
Unfortunately, I suck at editing. I just can’t take it. I know it is a vital process, but I usually don’t do much more than shuffle a few sentences around, cut some word fat, and then crossing my arms and giving an approving nod.
That’s just trash writing, like grade school level. It won’t help this novel go anywhere, especially with the level of editing it needs. When I originally wrote it, I assumed I would never need to publish it under my own name. In the interim, that idea has changed… which means the novel can’t exist with some of its current content. The whole thing needs an overhaul, whole sections will vanish, chapters may appear out of nowhere.
But I don’t know how to edit well, so nothing happens.
Which brings me to the plunder plan. The idea is simple, I plan to go through the novel, chapter by chapter, and rewrite them blind. The process will be to read the chapter as it is, write an outline that says ‘what happened’, then editing the outline to be better. After I know what I actually want in the chapter, I will open a new document and write a chapter based on the outline.
The hope here is that what I get on the other side will take into account any growth/changes in style over the last few years, fix any grammar or formatting mistakes, and create a story I can be proud of. Then I will compare this fresh draft to the original dirty draft, and see which I like better (again chapter by chapter). At this point I can pull my usual word shuffle, complete with childish nod.
Will it work? Probably not. Whatever, this is a story I want to survive, so I will do what I must.