1. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    How Would You Proceed?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Catrin Lewis, Feb 25, 2015.

    Now that I've completed the big revision of my 30 year old first novel, I can get back to my second novel that I put on hold last April. But now I have a better grasp of close third person point of view than I did ten months ago. Alas, I see that the draft of the second novel is riddled with Narrative Intrusion and other gross sins.

    I've put nearly 50,000 words into it, including a page or so of sketches for chapters to come. I'm not stuck; I know exactly where I want it to go and I'm excited about it.

    If you were in my place, would you pick up and write those scenes and finish the novel in the new style you'd cultivated the past year, before going back to revise the first part?

    Or would you knock the first part into shape and then go on to finish?
     
    peachalulu likes this.
  2. Chinspinner
    Offline

    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Location:
    London, now Auckland
    This is almost exactly the same as me. I have 45k of a novel complete from a couple of years ago, but the POV's are muddled, there is narrative intrusion. To be honest they are not insurmountable issues, but it was enough for me to discard it and start over. I just could not get back into it knowing it had major flaws.
     
    peachalulu likes this.
  3. 123456789
    Online

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,335
    Likes Received:
    3,084
    OK, if it was a completed first draft. I personally would rework from the beginning. I know this doesn't answer your question but I thought I'd throw it out there.

    I have some half finished stuff lying around, too. I'd probably finish the draft before going back to make other changes. This is because I'm a believer in having a complete first draft done before making any big changes. I need to see the whole picture before I can properly begin to revise or remodel.
     
    peachalulu and Catrin Lewis like this.
  4. daemon
    Offline

    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    982
    I am a big fan of reinventing and refactoring. Maybe this is why I never get anything done, but given ten months of reconsideration and learning, I would be tempted to rewrite it from scratch, let alone revise it.
     
  5. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,778
    Likes Received:
    7,289
    Location:
    Scotland
    Because you've let this one sit for a long while, it will be like starting anew, won't it? If it were me, I'd go back through and make the changes you now want to make. It will get you back into the swing of the story.

    I'm not an advocate of going over and over the first chapters of an unfinished story, but this is different because you've been away from it for a while. I'd say give it a blitz with what you know now, and establish the voice you want to carry through the novel. I'm so glad you think the story still has legs. It's had a chance to cook away in your subconscious, so I'll bet you'll find it easier to write than you did before.

    Have fun! And good luck with the beta who is reading your first novel. You Have Written. How cool is that? :)
     
    peachalulu and Catrin Lewis like this.
  6. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Yes, thank you. The beta read the first 3/4 in January and said he was eager to read the rest. As a middle-aged guy he isn't in the ordinary target audience for a novel with a heavy romance component (he said so himself). So his telling me there was enough going on otherwise to keep him interested is very promising.

    I'm still not settled on how to proceed, and I welcome everyone's input. It'd feel good to know the first half was tarted up. The one thing that would keep me from restarting there is the likelihood that I'd fall back into the habits I had when I wrote it and fail to change anything at all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
    peachalulu likes this.
  7. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    I'd say it's harder to make the first half match once you've written the 2nd half, simply because stories and characters have a way of morphing. What if you write the 2nd half, go back to knock the first half into shape, just to realise by the end of the first half, it's not melding together with what you have of the 2nd half? I ran into this problem once and forced the two to meld - the result was my two beta readers telling me it read like 2 different stories.

    Personally, I'd just start from scratch. Keep what you have of the first half that you actually liked, whether they were events or snippets of writing, and then write from the beginning with a blank page.
     
  8. Dunning Kruger
    Offline

    Dunning Kruger Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    128
    Go with the flow. If its easier to bust out the back half then do it. OTOH, If while completing the back half you know you are going to have this perpetual cloud hanging via the first half, then do the first half first. You have energy and excitement right now, do whatever keeps the momentum going. Just my 2 cents.
     
    Catrin Lewis likes this.
  9. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,821
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Very difficult decision. I'd like to say finish like 1234567 because, for the same reasons, it's always best to work from a complete draft but I'd probably cut and paste the story into a new word doc and start reworking/rewriting. Whenever I rewrite I write just under the old drafts paragraphs - deleting as I go - so I can keep stuff I like. I'd be too excited and want to run with my new knowledge and new ideas. Plus like Jannert said it will help you get back into the swing of the story.
     
  10. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I would personally go back and redo. If you intend a close 3rd person, and you feel you've a better grasp and skill in employing that POV, things may change in that finished section in ways you may not be able to predict.
     
  11. 123456789
    Online

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,335
    Likes Received:
    3,084
    That's my fear as well. It's going to be hard to rework the first half with nothing new to go on. The second half of the story isn't written, right? That means your story is incomplete . I don't care how many notes you have. If you go back to page 1 yiure essentially exactly back to where you started. You're writing with the same insights(and lack of insights) you had before. Sure, there's things you want to fix, but the only actual material you have to base your rewrite on is the stuff you want to change. Personally I think that puts you in danger of writing something very similiar. It's happened to me. If you push forward with part two, you have no previous version to inhibit the new style. So you write the new material with the new style, then go back to part 1, only now you have a basis. The second half of the book has been written in the new style and you are primed and better suited to rewrite part 1.
     
    peachalulu and Catrin Lewis like this.
  12. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    If the errors are merely stylistic or POV, then fixing them shouldn't be that hard. Simply reading through the existing text will make the necessary changes obvious.

    If the problems are deeper and relate to plot or character, then leaving them uncorrected will cause a mismatch and possible continuity errors if you continue.

    In either case, I would suggest that you start from the beginning.
     
    Catrin Lewis likes this.
  13. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    As much as I'd like to take up where I left off and get the thing done, so far I'm working at it from the beginning, just to prove to myself that I can.

    Next challenge: To decide if excising the narrator for close 3rd really means getting rid of the metaphors. My main character is a gardener. Flowers and their colors and scents are her passion. Maybe I'm violating her personality by turning her into this matter-of-fact creature.
     
    Nicoel likes this.

Share This Page