Writing Fiction: Twelve Down

My novel just got fatter.  By about 14,000 words.  Which, for a novel which was about 57,000 words in its last version, is quite considerable.  I blame the younger female lead.  This whole rewrite has been about putting her in place of the previous male character.  Must have worked, if only by the word count.  I certainly enjoyed writing her chapters.

In my last post, I had just worked out that I had 12 significant alterations to make, from minor to major (apologies to Ella Fitzgerald): rewriting a chapter, making sure that both sides of the novel (told from two different points of view) are consistent, or just getting the names right.

Starting in on the list on New Year’s Day, I was relieved to find that I had written some initial notes and suggests under each alteration heading.  By the first week, I had knocked off six of them, though it’s taken me the rest of January to complete the rest.

The process with each one has been the same:

  1. This is impossible!
  2. I’ll read through and see how it sounds.
  3. Ooh look, I could that…and that…and that.
  4. (Reading through new version): it might be better if I do this…
  5. Actually, that’s all rather good.
  6. On to the next.

So now, for the first time since last January when I started this rewrite, I have finally put all the chapters into a single document.  And that’s where the fatness came in.  I had been expecting that I would still be struggling to reach 60,000, so the 71,000 came as a pleasant surprise.

The next challenge is to read it through from beginning to end and make yet more notes on what needs to change.  There will be things.  Not least, the shifts in style between the two points of view, which have been effectively written years apart.  We’ll see.  Back into the fray…

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