It’s okay to rewrite your novel.

When we sit down to write our first manuscript, we’re caught up in the excitement of a new story and the rush of seeing it exist outside ourselves. But we all know that first draft is not the best version of your story, which is why we revise.

Sometimes, that first draft is just a rough outline.

I figured this out the hard way… by means of beta readers. (For which, I’m eternally grateful!) I started my current WIP during NaNoWriMo 2014, had a completed draft by the end of January, then went through seven rounds of revisions before sending it to my beta readers April 1st.

I thought I had a decent manuscript. I’d cut a lot of words, added a lot of words, fleshed out scenes and rewrote the second half of Act 2.

Safe to say, I was still a LONG way from having a query-able manuscript. You can read the post on my experience with my beta readers, here.

In order to make the changes to the novel, I had to deconstruct it. I took my outline of the beta draft and began reconfiguring the chapters/scenes to fit the new structure. There were some scenes that remained, some that were altered, and some that were deleted all together. But there were a lot of new scenes to add as well.

At first, I was pulling my hair out with the revision, focusing solely on the quality of the words instead of getting the new story down. Mind you, I don’t [totally] regret that bit because the writing did improve, so I’m ready to tackle the MAJOR REVISION waiting for me at the end of this draft.

I think a lot of us get lost in everything wrong with our writing that we lose sight of our excitement for the story we’re telling. It’s okay that this happens, but you can’t let it determine your writing journey. So if the first version of your MS isn’t what you want it to be, deconstruct it and dive back in to Rough Draft Mode. Then you can revise the new version until it glistens and shines.

Happy Writing!

5 thoughts on “It’s okay to rewrite your novel.

  1. Editing can be a brutal process. You’ll find scenes in your MS that don’t fit – but they’re exciting, emotive, glorious scenes. Doesn’t matter. They have to go.

    You just have to keep chanting in the back of your mind: “FOR THE GREATER GOOD”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m currently on my second draft and I know my first is really awful. The second one is a big improvement and I’m sure I’ll be writing a third and fourth, possibly even a fifth.

    Editing is definitely a long, hard, brutal, and sometimes soul crushing experience, but I always tell myself it’ll be worth it once it’s over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congrats on finishing the first draft of your MS. Regardless of how awful it is, that’s still a huge feat!

      And I whole-heartedly agree, editing is a grueling process, but the story and your characters will thank you for it in the end. 🙂 Thanks for liking and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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