Nearly a year ago I wrote about the manuscript that wouldn’t let me go, and the post resonated with quite a few readers. This response didn’t surprise me as I knew it was a common phenomenon to love a particular story so much. Well, I have an update on that project. I finally finished redrafting it! (For those of you who are curious, it’s the MS currently listed as DUET WITH THE DEVIL’S VIOLIN under the Writing tab. However, I’ve changed the title and am working on an updated description to go with the updated manuscript.)
Anyway … I made it about halfway through revising the MS in January before it was time to return to my more current project, AS SEEN ON EVIE. Because no matter how much I loved this older project and wanted to fix it, the new one had to be my priority. I kept thinking throughout the year that I’d return to it, but with revising EVIE, reading for CPs, vacations …. well, I sort of lost my enthusiasm for it. But I finally reached that time when EVIE was ready to go out into the world and I needed to work on something else to keep myself from going crazy with the wait. Sure, I could have worked on something new, but I’d already started this project, so …
About a month ago, I read through that first half of the manuscript I’d already revised. Here was my first tweet about it:
How nice to read the first chapter and remember the seeds I planted in this rewrite. Maybe I am ready to tackle this!
And then, a few days later, there was this:
Love reading a revision I started months ago and discovering that it’s good. Think I really did figure out how to fix this MS!
Only thing is, I wish I’d already finished the whole revision instead of half because I still hate drafting :(.
On the bright side, I am able to keep a good portion of the previous version of the MS, so I’m not writing from scratch.
So, I spent the past few weeks redrafting the rest of the manuscript. This may not seem like a very long time for a revision, but I really had spent the time planning it out before. I also discovered as I went through it that most of the major changes I’d implemented occurred in the first half of the manuscript, and what I had to do in the second half fell into place pretty naturally as I inserted from my earlier manuscript. I did still have to write a couple of new scenes, though–never my favorite part. I also had to make the tough decision to omit two scenes, one of which I’d definitely classify as a darling. However, as I mentioned in the previous post about returning to a manuscript you love after such a long hiatus, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much to cut scenes or characters when you have that much distance from them.
And now we come to the question of what I plan to do with this manuscript. Before, I said I was doing this just for me. I’m not so sure about that anymore. Obviously it’s back at draft one stage again (although a more polished first draft than usual), so it requires revision, but then we’ll see what my critique partners say. Perhaps I will want to send it back out into the world again once I polish it instead of keeping it to myself. We’ll see. It’s all a matter of whether I manage to shine it up to its true potential this time. After tackling this draft, I’m much more optimistic than when I started than it could reach perfection. (Anyone who’s read a version of DUET will understand that word choice 🙂 ).