Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rewriting A Book

Hello Everyone,

First, I want to tell you I had a great time at the writer's retreat. Worked a lot, went to workshops and ate way too much. Smile. We laughed and visited with friends and even got in some walking. Yay! After all the food, we needed the exercise.

I'm posting my blog early because hubby and I are meeting some friends in the afternoon for lunch and then going to a late mass for Palm Sunday.

Today, I'm going to tell you about a book I wrote over eleven years ago. I started writing THE BEAST WITHIN while I was still working at Trans World Airlines and finished it after I retired.

I sent query letters out and received requests for either a chapter and synopsis, a partial (a synopsis and three chapters) or the whole manuscript. I was so proud of this book, and I knew I would get a contract with it.

THE BEAST WITHIN was set at the T.W.A. maintenance overhaul base in Kansas City, and I was thrilled at the response to my query letter until the big R's started coming in (Rejections). Some of them were kind but most were form rejections that didn't tell me what was wrong.

For me this book was the best I'd written to this point. But eleven years ago that wasn't good enough. To be honest the query letter was better than the book, and that was why I received so many requests for my story.

A couple of months ago, I picked up the manuscript to read because I wanted to see if it was as good as I had thought. I read the first fifty pages shaking my head the whole time wondering how I could think I'd written such a great story. After those pages, I went back and started marking through everything that needed to come out and rewriting the story.

I have changed the name of the book to Rumbles, Rumors and Lies. Out of ninety-two pages, I've eliminated forty pages so far. Next week, I will tell you what I did wrong to have to completely rewrite this story, and it won't be an easy task.

You can find my anothology Fool Me Twice at, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and AllRomanceEbooks.

See you next Sunday. Have a great week.

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Morgan Mandel said...

At least you've learned something in the meantime! As long as you like the original story, it can be fixed with perseverance.

Morgan Mandel

Linda LaRoque said...

Good luck in rewriting. I bet it will be a great story when you finish and I love the title.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Morgan. That's it exactly, but it's not going to be easy to fix. Right now, I'm at a spot where I'm trying to decide what to do. I need some of the scene, but I need a different pov. Right now, it's in a secondary character's pov.

Isis Rushdan said...

The new title sounds like so much fun. It's amazing how time and distance can change our perception. You've grown so much in 11 years. I can only imagine what you thought of the story as you read it again. When I look at my first draft of KOTF, finished in 2009, I cringe.

Can't wait for the next post.

Mia Marlowe said...

I have a manuscript like that, Sandy. It's a sad little western that richly deserves the obscurity it enjoys while keeping company with the dust bunnies under my bed!

Like your story, it was my "training wheels" manuscript. I'm intensely grateful it didn't sell. Rejections sharpen a writer's sensibilities. They give us the courage to view our work without pity. And destroy it, or shelve it, when necessary.

Rebecca Royce said...

Its so funny to go back and read the early stuff. OMG, some of mine are disasters. Keep working on it. I think it would be awesome to see it published!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

The absolute funniest for me is going back to read the romance I wrote in high school about my teenage movie star crush. Talk about OMG. I always said my creative writing teacher gave me an A just so he didn't have to read all 186 pages.

Best of luck with the revisions, Sandy.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Linda. His Ronness came up with the title, and I thought it fit.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Isis. I'm already thinking and writing down the mistakes I made in that story. I even had a critique group, but we started out together new and didn't learn that much from each other.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Mia. I believe I should have thrown this manuscript out and started new, but there are a few things I want to keep.

It might of been if I had started this story a few years after I retired, and then I wouldn't have made one fatal mistake. lol

Sandy said...

Oh, thank you, Becca. I would have given up on it if it weren't for all the people I worked with at TWA. We were like one big family there, and so many are dying. It's sad.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Stacey. I'm going to need all the luck I can get.

Pat Dale said...

This is funny, Sandy. I think it happens to all writers who don't give up. I know it happened to me. My first, written in 1996, was 130K and I couldn't finish the darn thing. My writing mentor told me to start a new book and go back after I'd written two or three. I did that and gasped (then) at what I'd written. Recently, I opened it again and, after the experience of bringing five books to publication, saw exactly what it needs. Uh, other than a complete rewrite, that is. LOL
Sometimes they're better scrapped. But sometimes there is a gem in the rough just waiting for us to gain the experience needed to hone it to perfection. I've watched your writing grow into maturity and trust that you'll be able to make this one another winner. Best,
Pat Dale

Dawné Dominique said...

I know exactly what you mean, Sandra. I'm currently editing two of my novels (up the wa-who, I might add), and I keep coming to places where I stop and ask myself: "What the hell were you smoking?" ☺

We, as writers, continually hone our skills to better our craft. I love this profession.

Paris said...

Interesting blog and I think it struck a chord with many. I've been looking through an old Regency manuscript that I still love but know needs a major overhaul:)but at least now I know what needs to be fixed!

Marianne Stephens said...

Isn't funny how we go back to that "first" book and wonder...what was I thinking??? I too sent mine in and got the well-deserved rejections. Seems I didn't put enough dialogue in the was mostly narrative!
I had much to learn!
Good for you...going back and revising is a difficult task so get busy with your revisions!

Sandy said...

Thank you, Pat, for your kind words.

LOL Thanks, Dawne. Exactly, how I felt while reading this manuscript.

Paris, thank you for coming by. I know what mine needs, but it's a daunting task.

Thanks, Marianne. At the moment, I'm trying to decide which of two different directions to go.