Thursday, June 16, 2011

Scrapping it

This weekend I reviewed my W.I.P. and realized that of what I have down so far, I'm not going to be keeping. I believe in the story, the characters, the plot. I love it and I want to continue it, I don't want to give up. So I'm storing away what I have so far and starting new.

At first, I was discouraged about the prospect of starting over again. But then I remembered that back at the Utah Festival of Books when Kiersten White spoke, she brought up a new manuscript she has and how she wrote 100 pages in, and started over twice because the first two times she wasn't telling it right. I figured if a published author has done this, then it's probably not such a terrible thing that I am, too.

That's how I feel about my W.I.P. I don't think I wrote it the right way at first. I wrote it straight through as it'll read in its finished form, when as I actually write it, I need to write *gulp* out of order. That's going to be a fun adventure for me, since I've always written linearly.

So today I finish up my finals, and packing, and cleaning, and tomorrow I start heading home for summer break, where I fully intend to make my dad worry about how much time I'm spending in my room writing.

Have you ever had to completely restart a manuscript?


  1. I know how this feels. I rewrote my last WIP twice and then attempted to revise the latest rewrite for a couple months before realizing it probably needed another complete overhaul. I've currently put it aside to work on something else for a while, but I don't plan on giving up on the story forever. Follow your gut :)

    I've never written a story out of order myself, but I can see how that might be useful in some cases. Good luck with all the reworking! :)

  2. I know what you mean. When I first finished my first draft, it was really rough. The very beginning of it had been written about two years than the ending, and when I'd started, I hadn't really found my voice -- plus I hadn't plotted *any* of it. I ended up having to rewrite almost all of it completely, and now I'm working on slashing my word count down. I think you're right, though -- it's definitely worth it.

  3. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. You'll be better for it.

    I drafted a manuscript but in the rerwites I am constantly moving things around so they make more sense. And it's an amazing feeling, looking at that first draft and then seeing how much better it is rewritten.

    Oh, and I constantly write things out of order. Especially when I'm stuck. I start with the easy parts. The dialog that's easy or something and use that as a starting point.

  4. The first book I ever tried writing was set in college. Then I switched it to boarding school. Then I overhauled one of the subplots. Then I placed it in a drawer. I just couldn't work out major plot issues, even though I loved the characters and elements of the story. But the great thing about WIPs is that they never have to permanently die. You can always go back to them, no matter how much time has passed. Pretty much all writers have those 1 or 2 (or more) manuscripts in their drawer; it's all part of honing your craft.

  5. I think if you can see that it needs to be done, it should be. Duh, I know, but for a lot of people re-writing would be incomprehensible, but if you can actually see yourself doing it and being much better for it, it sounds like the best thing for the wip as a whole.