Another happy ending!
This morning I reached another milestone in my writing: my rewrite is complete. Next step is sending it off to some people!
I have no illusions. Just on sheer numbers alone, I’d have to be incredibly lucky to have anyone pick up my novel. I’m so, so happy with how the re-write has gone, the new draft is so much tighter and pacier than it was. This gives me confidence that I might actually have some craft, but this is a voracious and punishing industry. This book that I have sweated for 5 years now may never go anywhere.
In case you’re interested, this is what it looks like.
The yellow file box contains my research and plotting, including found objects and mementos from places that inspired settings or characters. I have several dozen timelines and plot diagrams and a bunch of random pieces I wrote as character development.
Six of the spiral-bound notebooks contain the first draft, three contain notes from the different stages of the re-write, including new writing. There’s three printed copies of the manuscript: two of the drafts printed doubled sided and a proof version, printed 4-up. The blue folder contains my notes on the re-structure between draft 2 & 3.
I threw out the butcher’s paper that I’d meticulously arranged the whole novel on scene-by-scene, one of my less successful attempts at re-structuring. I spent time playing with it for about 3 months, then when I started typing it up I got 5 chapters in and realised it wasn’t working. Those were fun times (not).
I also have digital assets: an Evernote notebook of research, a Pinterest mood board that captures certain characters and settings, two versions on the structure on the Index Card app for iPad, plus a bunch of word documents: synopses, query letters and so on.
I’ve carted it across the world: UK, UAE, Australia and I’ve never really tired of it, but I’m glad to put it away for a bit now. I’m champing at the bit to get onto my next project. I thought my next novel would be a dystopian future/revenge fantasy thriller, there was an idea I was in love with for months. The process of editing this one has made me realise how long I’ll need to live with the characters and I really wasn’t up for such a bleak scenario. My new idea is much lighter, with more scope for humour and fun. I’m excited to get started.