Right. First things first. You may notice that my blog has a couple of new tabs at the top – one covering mentions and one listing publishing credits. These have both appeared since my last blog entry and I would like to send a huge thank-you to the people responsible for it: Rachel Kovacs, who linked to last week’s entry in her webzine Writer, and Maria Kelly aka the Were-Traveler, who published my flash fiction No Regrets in the latest edition. Wow. I really feel like I’m getting somewhere in this writing thing now!
That said (and please excuse my self-glorification but hey, you have to take everything that comes your way, right?), I am now going to get back to the point. Last week I went to my first writing-related conference. While much of it wasn’t directly relevant to me, it was a really useful exercise in getting to know other writers in my area, and hearing about how other people approach their writing. Coming out of this conference, I stood in the rain at the bus stop and had an epiphany.
I am going to restructure my novel.
I don’t mean anything small here. I mean, the whole thing is going to need a rewrite. I’m not even going to edit my main manuscript; I’m going to start a new one and begin from there. The bits from the old one that I can use – which will be a lot of it, but much will be presented in a different way – will be copied from the old document and pasted into the new one, rather than me trying to navigate around what’s already there.
Believe me, the decision to do this did not come lightly. However, I’ve been thinking about how to streamline my plot – some people who have read some of my earlier works might know that I have a tendency to tell the whole story when in reality snippets would do just as well – and give it a much shorter timeline. That is, instead of telling a story covering twenty years, it’s now going to cover four or five years and involve some flashbacks and the like to cover the initial bit that’s now being cut out. This means it will look very different from the original story I planned when this idea came to me two years ago, but it also means that it’s going to be shorter, better structured and have more of a punch to it.
In other words, it will be a better novel.
Now, I’m just going to ignore the fact that it may feel like I’m giving one of my children plastic surgery, take a deep breath, and jump in the deep end of the restructuring process. Wish me luck!