Book (Re)Writing – From Rewriting to Writing



This will be the last blog post (maybe forever or maybe just for a while) in my blog series ‘Book (Re)Writing’ purely because I have finally moved beyond the stage where I am simply considering a re-write of my book ‘From the Ashes’ to actually being at the point of writing it again.

When I first conceived this blog series, I called it (Re)Writing because I was personally torn between whether I needed to do a rewrite, or whether I was going to have to write the book again. In my mind there is a difference and I kept it vague using the brackets so that I didn’t confine myself to one or the other. I have finally come to the conclusion that what I have to do is the latter.

I think it will have been obvious to anyone who has read the entire series, that this blog about writing have been markedly different from one of my previous series about writing, ‘The Key to a Great Story‘, which was more technical. ‘Book (Re)Writing‘ has been a great deal more personal, a way of making myself accountable in what I’ve been doing in the process of approaching a rewrite.

It has even become a way of sharing that the processes of writing and being a writer is not easy. Also a way for anyone who might have similar problems to know that they are not alone. On an even more personal level it has been therapeutic for me to share my feelings about my novel rather than bottle them up.

However, I am currently at a very good place because I have finally figured out that it isn’t a re-write in the sense that I’m working on what currently exists and doing a major edit. I have to write the book again from scratch. To me that means I am writing my book, not rewriting it. Some may quibble that definition; let me explain.

One of the key reasons why I have come to this conclusion is because I have finally managed to clear my head and work through my feelings about my book well enough  to write up a new outline for my book. I’ve spoken about doing an outline of what was already existing and I’ve spoken about writing an overall plan for my series, but until now that was all focused on figuring out what was wrong.

I’ve done that, and I’ve now moved onto the new step. A new outline for the book and what has resulted is that I’m writing a new book. I’m not rewriting the one that already exists; the plot is different, some of the characters are going to be refined and I think that I may literally have one scene that will play out in exactly the same way.

The title will be the same, the characters will be mostly the same, but it is going to be a different book. It is going to lead to a different place. There will be major plot points that now are going to end up discarded entirely (though potentially recycled elsewhere) and I have even made the rather major decision to write it in the third person rather than in the first.

That last one for me is the most important reason why I’m now defining what I have to do as writing not re-writing. I am a massive advocate of using first person, but in order to pull off the story I want to tell, for the moment (I might change my mind) I’m going to change the perspective. For me this is all new.

There is another underlying reason, and it is very much a personal opinion on what doing a rewrite means. I associate the idea of editing as something that needs to be done in order to polish work, it is a positive and necessary part of the writing process. Rewriting though has come to mean something incredibly negative; in my mind having to do a rewrite is an indication that I’ve failed as a writer.

I will hold up my hands and admit I am not a positive person. I can be positive about things, but I am a pessimist and I view rewriting as the ultimate failure. I advocate that the first draft (and possibly the second draft) will be shoddy. Rewriting a new draft though doesn’t mean that the glass was just half-empty, it means to me that I missed the glass, the bench and I poured my story on the floor. I did say pessimist.

So for now I’m venturing into the very positive territory of writing my book. Given I’ve just identified as a pessimist, I genuinely don’t mean that sentence sarcastically at all.

I love writing. I love being a writer. The prospect of writing my book ‘From the Ashes’ is an exciting and positive step, because it gives me the opportunity to do it better and to do justice to my characters.

So I probably won’t be writing for ‘Book (Re)Writing’ again, though I’ll never say never, because I don’t know whether I’ll need to, or what I could contribute for the moment, but all I will say is thank you for everyone whose given me support in the process of this journey.

And if anyone is interested in how the writing is going, I’ll tweet about it (@kabrown4).

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