Wednesday, May 4, 2022

WHEN IS IT TIME TO DO A COMPLETE REWRITE? AN IWSG POST...

 Hi All,


Welcome to another IWSG post! As we all know, we meet on the first Wednesday of every month. If you would like to join us, please visit Alex's site to sign up.


Today, I would like to discuss a problem I have been anxious about for a while, when is it time to do a complete rewrite of your novel? For over three years, I worked on my novel and have been querying it for about a year now. This is the FIRST time, I have was not asked for a partial or full from any agent. I sent out at least 50 queries. I know it is more difficult now, but not to get ONE request. it doesn't sound right to me. I know it is not the subject matter, so there must be something wrong in the story. Originally I wrote this as a memoir and had sent it to a top editor in NYC. She made several suggestions and I was almost finished when the person I am writing about decided she wanted changes. MAJOR changes. I did the best I could, cutting the parts she wanted out. I queried again, and nothing. I don't want to CAN the project because I still believe in it. So, now I am deciding if it needs a COMPLETE overhaul. I can do a complete rewrite cutting out the daughter completely and concentrating solely on the subject. It would be a much more fun and LIGHT piece with no internal issues from the narrator. I would have to write it in the third person instead of the first. So, a lot of work would need to be done. 

Should I do it or scrap the project? In all honesty, I would like to cut ties with this person completely. If I go forward, I would still have to work with her and share the profits. I just HATE having to throw away three-plus years of writing. It is a tough call, and I would appreciate any advice.

On the plus side of this month, an article I wrote for the IWSG blog will be featured on May 9th...I hope you will drop by the blog and read it. 

Have a wonderful month, everyone!


11 comments:

  1. If you don't enjoy working with that person anymore, then it might be misery if you continue. Sounds like it might've worked had she not interfered so much. Unfortunately, it's a decision only you can make.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with Alex. Maybe you should just not pursue this more. If it was your own work, you could consider a rewrite. Or you might try reworking the first chapter or two that you sometimes get to submit with your query.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Continuing to work with someone that is not pleasant vs scrapping. That's tough. Maybe have a few ARC readers and get outside thoughts? I wish you the best, whichever way you go.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yikes! That's a tough dilemma indeed. I have a few trunk novels that need a complete overhaul before publishing, and they'll get one someday. I wish you happy writing in May.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Michael, sometimes its just the wrong time, more often than not, its the topic that many agents may not have warmed up to, they may have liked your writing style.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I say consult an attorney and find out your rights when it comes to letting this story inspire a similar one of your own, then, if you're in the clear legally, write it how you want.

    ReplyDelete
  7. From experience, both working with an author and formatting books, I've found that if it's a bit unpleasant, it will only get worse.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds like you shouldn't be working with this person anymore. Change the names and some of the circumstances and make it your own story instead.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Seems like it's nearly unanimous, Michael. Cut loose. But how will that affect you legally if you still write about the mother? It's so sad the daughter went against your better judgment on this. It's a bit early to think about rewriting. (I'd be happy to read it again if you think that'd be helpful.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Michael ... so difficult - but I'd say 'move on' ... and perhaps you can adapt it in someway later in life - leave for now ... all the best with the decision - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  11. If it doesn't bring you any joy in writing it, I'd walk away. For now. Maybe a year from now you'll have a change of heart. I have a novel that I wrote years ago. Finished the stupid things and then a movie was announced that sounded just like my story. I'd have looked like I was a copy cat. So, I shelved it. Now, it's been so long, the movie flopped, so now it might be the right time to pull this manuscript out and dust it off.

    ReplyDelete