Monday, October 26, 2015

A crazy blast from the past

I have several books that have languished in a desk drawer for years. They have potential, but I just didn't need to dig them out.

Two of them use characters (tangentially) from the current series I'm working on. So I decided to re-read what I wrote and see if there are elements there that I need to incorporate into my current writing. The thought is that these stories will be the penultimate books in the series.

Keep in mind, I wrote these books almost 11 years ago, before I joined any writing groups and before I knew anything about Goal, Motivation, Conflict or anything else.

I was surprised -- the writing was bad in spots, but not horrible. There were plot holes and characters who dropped in never to appear again. And there was a lot of head-hopping (switching POV for no good reason). But there was also some really good dialog and good characters and one intriguing plot line that has real potential.

So I'm rewriting now. Yep, I'm taking one of those old dusty manuscripts and seeing what I can do with it. If nothing else, this is showing me how much I've learned and how I know my craft. All of my "tsks" and head shakes made me realize how far I've come in a relatively short amount of time.

The good thing about a task like this is that it frees me to do other things as well. Yes, I am focused on this, but I find I can take breaks easier from this kind of work to do things like think about promo, my career, etc. I've let career management slide this year and I need to get back on track. I feel like I had a vacation this year and now it's back to the real world.

And my reward for doing that is digging back into this book and working on it. I am having fun, and that's what it's all about as far as I'm concerned. So onward -- my goal is to finish this rewrite this year so I can look forward to a whole new novel in January. I have 11 books done and waiting to publish, and I need to start thinking about that, too.

Busy times ahead!



Margo Hoornstra said...

Having fun! That really is what this writing gig is all about, J.L. Glad you're enjoying yours. Eleven books ready and waiting. What an accomplishment. Congratulations! You exhaust me! ;-)

Jannine Gallant said...

I have one of those, too. Filled with head-hopping and dialogue tags, etc. etc. I've revamped two other similar books and published them. I want to do that with this final historical languishing in a paper pile under my desk. But the thought alone is exhausting! Glad you're enjoying the process!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Oh, I'm so glad this feels like fun, JL. I have a book I'd like to revise, but I've been afraid to look at it. Frankly, I'm dying to write something new now that I've finished a third in my funeral planner series. I'll get that click of inspiration soon, I'm sure. Fun is what its all about...but career management does matter! Good luck.

Brenda Whiteside said...

You go, JL. Sounds like a good plan.

Leah St. James said...

Wow....11 books waiting to be published?! Good for you. Keep having fun!