Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Beginning Again

The big Re-Write began yesterday, off to a cracking start of 3000 words. I mentioned in reply to a comment yesterday that I'm not technically re-writing the entire book. You see, as the manuscript was, it started off when my hero, a United States Air Force officer, crashes his fighter jet in Iraq. The first part of the book is a journey for my hero and heroine through Iraq, onto Turkey, then Cyprus, before ending up in Indonesia.
Too much? Probably, yes.
It was almost like two separate stories, which I was told a couple of times by a couple of different people. With the new plot, the book starts in Indonesia and stays in Indonesia. So really, I'm only going to be re-writing the first two hundred or so pages, which equates to about 50,000 words. I feel that the new initial plot now fits much, much better with where it all ends up. And obviously I am working hard to avoid the pitfalls of the last manuscript, which included the sins of 'showing, not telling,' information dumps, stating the obvious, and not giving the reader enough credit to work things out on their own. The hardest thing I'm finding is avoiding the information dumps. I feel like by not doing it the reader is missing out on something, when in reality, most of my information dumps are useless facts the reader doesn't need to know, like "she loved chocolate ice cream with raspberry sauce. Her mother used to make it for her when she was a child. Thinking about her mother brought back memories of spending hours in the kitchen, watching the sunlight stream in through the bright, happy, yellow curtains..." Ok, so it actually wasn't that maudlin, but it was probably about as useless.
This time around I'm going to be having people read and give me feedback as I go, so that I can try and fix major things and then not continue to do them. I swear, this time around its going to be THE ONE. I know, I know, I've said it before. But you can't even begin to imagine how determined I am. Actually, it probably comes closer to being stubborn to the point of ridiculousness. But no matter! Someway, somehow, I am going to carve my place out of this impossible piece of granite I've been given.
Song: Better Off At The Start by Sum 41 vs Coldplay (mashup)

2 comments:

lynn said...

Stubborn/determined is the only way to be in the world of writing--good for you for jumping right back in! I'm sure the novel will start to click now, especially since you're getting feedback as you go. That was (is?) one of my major mistakes--waiting too long for feedback and then having to rewrite the entire book!

Jess Anastasi said...

Oh yeah, I hear you! That's one of my biggest things too. I would write practically the entire book without anyone reading any of it and then when I did finally show it to people, there just seemed to be so many problems I couldn't imagine fixing them all. This time I want to get them pointed out early on so I can avoid putting the same problem through the entire ms.