Rewrite 3: Finding a Common Thread

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Recently, I went to an event with the amazing Victor LaValle and we talked about the course in introductory novel writing that he teaches. What stuck out to me was that he said that many beginner writers lack focus in this work. There’s an . And I realized that that was totally true about my work during the first draft, way back in college when my writing was actual trash.

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How To (Re)write: Backspace is Your Friend

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Deleting words is just as important as writing them. When you’re trying to hit that desired 50,000, 75,000, 100,000 or whatever word count, you’re not focused on things to keep and get rid of. I have two tips on how to get rid of excess words. One takes work, the other is self-explanatory.

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Deleting Chapter 1

deleting chapter 1Back to the editing board. This time, my book is on a diet to shed some excess words. And it’s working! I got rid of 8,000 so far and the plot hasn’t changed yet. I have, however, gotten to the point where some chapters just have to go. And the first one I got rid of was chapter 1. It came down to one thing.

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Remember Who You Arc

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That pun was bad. But I’m not ready to sit in a corner and think about what I did. I ran into an interesting problem where one of the points of view in my tale hasn’t been very linear or defined. So how do you tie it together in a knot? Let me count a few ways.

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I Wrote a Synopsis

Ever read something and go, “What the heck was that about?” And then you go to Wikipedia and they have that nice section called “Plot.” When writing your own work, using Wikipedia as a refresher for key story events when you’re neck-deep in editing isn’t really an option. Unless you are one of those elusive published authors, in which case, I am jelly and good on you. So, guess who gets to write the synopsis…

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From Third to First (Person)

I sincerely wanted to be a little avant-garde in my work. I wanted to blend first and third person and pretend it’s totally intentional and to sound like I knew what I was doing. But then, upon rereading, it made no sense. It made so little sense, in fact, that sense was being creating in other places of the world. And thus the undertaking started: translating most of my book from third person into first. I’m going to share my process mostly for the sake of my own accountability. Continue reading