At RWA this year I met a lovely woman working for the Barnes and Noble book sale. She was delightful and clearly had a passion for books. We were talking over a pizza about the romance genre and the business of writing when she explained to me one of the most interesting pieces of advice she received was to completely rewrite your book after it’s finished as if you were writing it for the first time – no using the cut and paste from the first draft.
I’ve had a few weeks to ruminate on this thought and now that I am part of a critique group that is focused on finishing one book I have decided to take this idea and run with it. I am taking a manuscript I’ve already finished and I’m going to rewrite it not just edit it. Here is what I’m hoping to get out of this.
1. Stronger characters. I’m a pantser so I know that my characters are much much much stronger towards the end of the book because I know them better. Now that I’m starting over, I already have that knowledge in my head and can portray them much better.
2. Tighter plot – Lets face it – sometimes we write things that we love because the language is wonderful, because of how it makes us feel, and it has absolutely no value to the story. This will cut out the unnecessary and make it easier to just tell the story.
3. Fix the errors – Beta readers who have read my book have all said the same things so no I can fix the errors, grow things in a different way, and really make the book shine!.
These are the things I’m looking for in trying this new method? What do you think? Waste of time or damn good tool?