Rewrites, and the complexities within

Not every author or every manuscript will need this, but many people have been subject to the horrors of rewrites, myself included – I’ve rewritten Purity three times including this most recent copy, and I might have to rewrite part of it again.

Rewrites are hard. They are beyond the realm of editing and in a world of their own – to take a finished manuscript and basically scrap it in favour of a more updated version is to cut up part of your soul and your logic, because who really in their right mind wants to do something like that.

Starting a rewrite is an exciting prospect. Later, once you’re elbow deep in your own guts and gore, is when you get exhausted with the whole procedure. But starting is exhilarating.

I just recently started the first and hopefully only rewrite of Of the Arbour. While I adored the characters and the story, I felt that the style could age up. I’ve grown plenty in maturity and style since originally writing it what was it, at least four years ago? How time flies so a rewrite was necessary.

I stated out this rewrite of OtArb thinking that it would be a simple process of taking the previous ideas and putting them into new words. And it did start that way. The original manuscript had Sage and Cain sparring with swords for their year nineteen final exam at the Arbour – so this new rewrite begins the same. The first changes were minute: Briar now waits for Sage in the infirmary rather than foyer, and they meet up with Ash sooner than before. Then the changes got larger: Carol’s name is changed to Thalia, and a new character is introduced. This new character, Kell, seems to have potential for a major role, which surprised me. I didn’t mean to bring new characters into the fray, but she instantly intrigued me.

Things never go the way you intend.

So far the changes are good – I think they’ll continue to be good throughout this rewrite – but I found it kind of funny how excited I was about such small changes. I’m sure this excitement will die down a bit once I get into the guts of the story and just want the rewrite to be over, but for now I’m relishing how uniquely new Of the Arbour feels despite being relatively old.

Just give me a few chapters, and I’ll probably only write grudgingly, but for now I’m more than thrilled about this.

Have you guys written many rewrites? How have you enjoyed them?

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