Organic Flow: Rewriting vs. Revising

An old writing buddy graciously read a thriller/suspense manuscript I’d first written in 2005, and had only minimally updated since then (the last time was maybe a few years ago–I have so many drafts of it, I can’t tell). He actually liked this one better than my most recent release, The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille (informally referred to as The Camille Chronicles), so methinks I will clean it up and release it in November. The book focuses on a secondary character in The Camille Chronicles, so it won’t be that much of a stretch. In fact, this character is the focus of one of my very first manuscripts, which was shopped around major houses back in 2000 or so (and got rejected).

While going through the  manuscript and noting my friend’s comments, I found that I didn’t feel that connection with the work. I tried, but the more I read through it, the more it didn’t work for me. I had no idea what it was that I was missing, or what was missing, but I knew that I couldn’t put a book out if I didn’t feel that visceral connection to the work.

Then I started rewriting it from scratch.

Seriously: I had the older version, with comments, open in one window and a blank document in another. And I wrote the story, but in the style that I write now. And it worked. I felt that connection, that vibe, that resonation in my middle section that always tells me “YES. This is it. This is the way to go.”

Perhaps I couldn’t connect to the old version of the story because I am no longer that writer. My world view, writing style, character perception, etc has changed within the past five, seven, ten years or so. I liken it to trying to fit into a pair of jeans I once wore in high school; cute jeans, but they no longer fit and to force myself into them would lead to ruin (of the jeans LOL). So it is with trying to fit my current writing self into an old writing style.

Now I’m happy when I work on this book, and that’s a good thing.

Thanks for stopping by.

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