Lately there is an itchiness inside me, one that I can’t really scratch away and it has to do with editing or better yet, with rewriting. You know what they say, right? True writing is rewriting. According to science fiction novelist Michael Crichton "Books are not written--they're rewritten."
I’m starting to believe that he is right.
Having written the first 25K words on my new project, I found myself going back to Divided. As some of you know, Divided is my second novel, which was written in four months, two years ago. Since then I’ve polished the story and edit it, but I felt the need to edit some more. So I found myself writing draft number 3.
Only ten chapters left to edit now and the changes impress me. I cut scenes, rewrote so many others and cut the parts where the story was dragging. The funny thing is that I love this process and I’m getting lost into this older story like I’m writing it for the first time. The thrill is back, same as the anticipation for the writing hours.
But this process also got me thinking.
We change! We grow up as humans and as writers. When I finished that first draft, I felt like flying. I had completed a second novel and I was invincible, swimming in happiness. But this beautiful feeling lasted only until the second draft began where the story needed to be smoothened, polished and the language needed to be perfect and pleasant to read.
Overcoming the negative feelings, draft number 2 was finished and it was time to let it go.
It’s truly magnificent what some time and some dozen books can do. I wrote Damaged, the sequel, and when I got back to Divided again everything was different. It felt like my vision was blurry but suddenly I could see even better than before and what I saw made me hold my breath.
There were so many things I wanted to change, so many scenes to polish and even my characters were more mature, reacting in slightly different ways. So I had to tell their story again, to help them express their feelings and untangle their confused thoughts.
Have you ever felt like this? This is the urge to keep changing the finished projects and I know I must not fall into that loop, but this draft number 3, I feel it’s the one.
Any advice for the road down ahead? Does rewriting ever stop?