novels · writing

Does This Make Any Sense?

When I “grow up,” I want to be a book editor. The process of taking a story and transforming it from a scary rough draft to a polished, finished project is just amazing to me. I love it. Books are just about the most wonderful thing in the world. I love to write, of course. But there’s something about stacks of vulnerable pages and a giant red pen that gets my blood rushing.

So why am I having so much trouble editing Summer Rush? Editing is a mild word. “Rewriting” better suits the purpose. I’m taking out an entire plot element, moving the inciting incident to the middle of the book, revamping multiple characters, changing the ending. There’s just so much to do that I feel overwhelmed. How am I ever going to turn this awful novel into what I originially envisioned it to be?

The sad truth is, I’ve never rewritten a book. I edited a book, and rewrote entire chapters, but I didn’t have any major plot elements to change; the setting was already intact and the characters were all good just the way they were.

So I’m coming to this playing field without knowing the rules of the game. Flying blind, so to speak. The review from HarperCollins has helped a lot (it was what instigated a lot of the changes I have planned), and so have reviews from my fellow Inkpoppers. But on a lot of this stuff, I’m on my own because only I know my characters, what they can do, and what the story is supposed to do.

Yesterday I read this article, which cheered me up a lot. But while I was freewriting and brainstorming on SR during art class *ducks head guiltily* I realized that I needed an entirely new inciting incident. That means more writing! I’m not sure whether I’m excited or daunted by that prospect. I know I’m excited about a lot of the other changes I’m making, in spite of all the grunt work involved.

When all is said and done, my whining and sweating blood aside, I know Summer Rush is going to be awesome. I just wish I was finished already!


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