Notes from a Writer’s Life #15

Editing Bleak Waters

So was it worth it?

That was the question on my mind as I started the read through of Bleak Waters draft two.

Long time readers may recall that after writing draft one I realised I had told the story from the wrong point of view.

At that point I had two choices. Ditch it or do a full rewrite.

I took the big decision to do a full rewrite.

The rewrite itself was not exactly plain sailing. I wrote myself into dead ends and plot holes so deep I wondered if I could get myself out of them.

Somehow, I found a way and after a few months of toiling, I finally completed draft two.

With the draft finished, I printed off the manuscript for the second read through, and as I picked it up to start, I was more than a little nervous.

What if the story was no better or, disaster of disasters, even worse than the first draft? Had I wasted months of my life on a project that ultimately would have to be put aside?

Now, having read chapters one to twelve, the good news is no, I haven’t wasted months of my life.

It’s a better story now. It works. Ish.

There is more work to be done.

Based on what I’ve read so far I need to write five new scenes, delete the first two, and re-jig chapter one, but these kind of changes are standard for me for any long project like a novel.

I don’t have the feeling of being completely lost that I had after draft one.

I’ve still got two thirds of the book to read through but, six months after I started writing Bleak Waters draft one, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Trouble is, if the history of this project is anything to go by, it’s likely to be a freight train heading full pelt towards me.

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