Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Exposition Excavation Expedition

It finally happened: I have completed the first draft of my novel.

Yes, the one with the invisible monkeys. And no, don't try to remember how long it took me.1 The important thing is I finished it; I'd never completed a story over 2,500 words before. So yeah, this is kind of a big deal.

Which means, of course, that it's time for me to sit back, grab a drink, and celebrate! re-write the entire thing.

You heard me.

Okay, maybe it won't be a complete rewrite, but an extreme makeover is certainly in order. There are adverbs and adjectives to excise. Exposition to expunge. A whole stable of overused words (even still, only just that) to extract. So much tell (characters feeling and seeing) to exchange for show.

Not to mention all that's changed since I started this thing. My writing style, for one. My understanding of what makes for good writing, for another. Technology.2 Politics. Hell, one of my characters switched genders 3/4 of the way through the book. Another never reappeared after chapter 7.3

As I wrote, I kept notes in a second document when new ideas surfaced, rather than make the edits right away. Today, that document is nearly 1/4 the length of the book. Sixty-five pages, single spaced. And that's not the worst of it.

Many of the notes are no longer valid. Dozens contradict each other. And I guarantee some will have me wondering what the hell I was talking about. Add in all the research I also have ahead of me—into the Secret Service, police procedure, weaponry—and this rewrite becomes quite the daunting prospect.

But then I think about you. Yes, you.4 Some of you have been waiting years to read about these monkeys. Others are itching for me to finish this damned thing so I'll get back to my next novel, with Captain Interrobang and the other not-so-super superheroes. I can't just sit idly by.

No, I need to sit actively by, and get to work.

It's time to start digging.


1 Certainly don't remember that when I started, there was no such thing as an iPhone.
2 See Footnote 1. I'll need to go Blackberry picking, and remove all such references.
3 No, I don't mean she remained invisible the rest of the way. Though I can see why you might think so.
4 Hi there.

6 comments:

  1. Yay! Can I take a pick-axe to it as well? Or at least give you some more notes? Want to read!

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    1. I'll let you take a pick-axe (or machete or long sword or whatever) to the next draft. I'm not letting anyone read this (not even Denise) till I burn it all down so the proper story can rise from its ashes.

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  2. Awesome! And you certainly have your work cut out for you now.

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    1. Yes, yes I do. But at the same time, I have always enjoyed the editing process, whittling a piece down to a more refined state. (I guess I'll soon find out if I still feel the same way when dealing with an entire novel...)

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  3. You're great. Love the story of your writing journey. And, as always, your humor. Carry on!

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    1. Actually, it's the other Nate who is great. He's a detective.

      But I'm glad you enjoyed the post. And carry on I shall. (Next up: Fully mapping out character arcs and motivations chapter by chapter... to ensure the characters have arcs and motivations. Wish me luck.)

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