Re-Write

I have the tendency to work on many things at once. This, I’ve come to learn, is both good and bad. It was great when I had to balance school, work, and wedding planning. It’s not so good when it’s three different story ideas. I have one idea, go with it, and then pause because the other idea is all of a sudden so much better. And so on. Until nothing is done.

Here’s the thing – before I finished TNWSY, I had been thinking about it/working on it for years.I wrote a few chapters, hated it, gave up, moved on to something new. The thing is, every time I kept moving on, it was always in the back of my mind. Which is why I finally decided to force myself to write it during NaNoWriMo. And it was the best thing I could have done. Because finally, finally, the story I wanted to tell came out. It changed a ton since my first ideas blossomed, but I know it’s right now.

So now with TNWSY done and in querying stage, I’m working on Book 2. And Book 2 has become…a bit of a pain. Remember all of those other ideas I said I had? I decided “meh, forget those!” and started something new, something fresh. I had two characters I loved and…um…that was it. No concrete story around them. Nothing too inspiring.

And I felt terrible. I mean, really terrible. What if I was just one of those one-off writers?

And then an older story started flickering in my mind, and wouldn’t leave. It kept pestering me over and over until I addressed it. Said hello. Gave in to its poking.

And finally finally my writing felt  right. So, I’m starting Book 2 over again. For a while it felt like giving up (like I’d done in the past), and I hated myself for that. But I think it’s more like giving in. To a new (old) idea. To something I know is better. And maybe I’ll re-visit those other characters again someday. Who knows, they may be pestering me once I’m doing with this book.

Have you ever gone back and re-started a book? Did it turn out to be what you meant to write in the first place?

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11 thoughts on “Re-Write

  1. dakotarock22nd says:

    As a writer I know how it feels completely starting over on a piece of work like this. On the book I have been I’ve been working on for the past year I started it over twice and almost a third. I just kept coming up with newer ideas, characters etc until finally I got something concrete, something I was truly happy with and I away I went. But yeah I know just how you feel with rewriting.
    Good luck!

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks so much! It’s frustrating, isn’t it? But, also, an important stage of the writing process. I’m glad you found something you were completely happy with!

  2. taureanw says:

    Great post!
    I have done this in the past & honestly I believe it has been for the better. With time certain ideas aged like a fine wine & ended up being more developed when I finally returned. Other times the time away helped me realize that some of the ideas were really really BAD!
    Nice to know I’m not the only one that is constantly being pulled in opposite directions!

  3. dakotarock22nd says:

    As a writer I know how it feels completely starting over on a piece of work like this. On the book I have been I’ve been working on for the past year I started it over twice and almost a third. I just kept coming up with newer ideas, characters etc until finally I got something concrete, something I was truly happy with and I away I went. But yeah I know just how you feel with rewriting.
    Good luck!

  4. T.F.Walsh says:

    It’s so hard starting over, but in the end it’ll be so much better… i can say this because I’ve done it… and while it was hard, I’m happy with the outcome:)

  5. W. R. Woolf says:

    Yes, I know what it’s like.
    I just began to rewrite my second novel from the beginning, because I found out I wanted more historical facts in it. I’ve done a good deal of research since I began and suddenly I just had to add some of all the interesting things I found out…

  6. Natasha says:

    I totally know how you’re feeling. After four and a half years, I’ve re-written a book about three times and I’m just now feeling good with it’s progress. I haven’t even gotten to book 2 yet but I have a feeling that it’s going to take a while.

    • Lauren says:

      I feel like sometimes you need time. I know that if I actually wrote my book two years ago, it wouldn’t have been nearly as good as it is now (not to say it’s superb now, but I know i’ve grown as a writer tremendously since). Good luck finishing your book. You can do it!

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