As this is a topic on one of the email loops I belong to, it seems an appropriate topic to bring up now. Recently the moderators asked how rewrites/revisions were approached, and if we liked/disliked them.
For me, I have to rewrite from the ground up. Maybe it’s a time waster and as I go along (i.e. get more books under my metaphorical belt) I won’t need/want to do it. But right now it seems simpler to just start from the ground up. I have my original next to me (either the print version with my handwritten notes or the electronic version on a side-by-side screen view with the new document) and start typing. Usually things change at some point and I branch off. With Rage, it ended up going in an entirely new direction each of the two rewrites I did. Dreams was essentially the same story, though I developed certain things differently in the second draft because the mind behind Ares kept shifting.
With the impending rewrite of War – I think the basic story is going to stay the same. There are missing scenes that need filling in. I need more additional secondary characters earlier (it’s Chris & Jordan almost exclusively for almost 100 pages). But over the course of the first draft, I came up with different ideas on motivations for both characters. Chris is definitely darker than I thought she was, and that needs to be developed more carefully. There are certain details that pop up in the second half that I absolutely have to foreshadow earlier rather than just dumping them in.
Something else I’m planning on doing is a little squiblet as a header on each chapter, sort of as world building and it would eliminate some of the internal monologues that chars don’t need to have since they really wouldn’t just think about stuff since, to them, it’s normal but I threw in there because I wanted to world build. For example of a squiblet:
From the Layman’s Guide to the Non-Human Rights and Responsibilities Act of 1947: The Council retains its primary right to discipline their own when a crime involves vampire on vampire violence. In other words – if your actions would get you an execution before the Great Awakening, expect the executioner to come calling now. Don’t expect protection from the humans when you screw up.
It’s rough, but that’s the basic idea anyway. Add a little something like that at the beginning of each chapter, probably have it be applicable to something that’s going to happen in the chapter itself.
On the children front – I think I have some of the cutest twins ever! How can I not adore them? And big brother’s pretty cute too. Check ’em out from recent pics.
Oh, btw, got an iPhone recently and I love it! Just sayin’.
So – how do you handle rewrites? Share your tales from the trenches.