Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Killing my babies

I've finished INK FLAMINGOS. Well, at least the first draft. I'm giving it a little time to breathe, you know, like a fine wine needs a little oxygen infusion before it tastes perfect. In a couple of weeks, I'll tackle it, tweaking here and there, making necessary revisions, making sure the timeline works, that sort of thing.

In the meantime, I'm back to my YA book. My agent informed me early last month that it needs something critical for a book: A plot. After a long discussion with him, I realized he was right. The book as it stood was merely a sequence of events with no clear purpose, nothing that held the story together.

This is the kind of criticism that I need, that every writer needs. Showing a manuscript to a spouse or a good friend might just get a "yes, it's very good." You're not going to get that really critical eye, that feedback that you need to make the book better.

So while I worked on INK FLAMINGOS, I let the YA percolate a little. I tossed ideas around in my head during my morning run, trying to piece it all together more coherently, giving the characters a more definite purpose. A quest, you might say.

And I had an idea. An idea that I'm not really ready to share, because I'm not sure I'll be able to pull it off. But if I can, I think it's exactly what this book needs.

One thing I can say is I've changed the third person POV to first person. In the original, I had alternating third person POV in each chapter. In this one, so far, I hear only Phinn's voice, even though Jess is there. But I've added a character who will round out my adventurers, and my villian? Well, he will be who he was before, but different.

Now I've really confused you, haven't I?

It took a little bit of time to wrap my head around the rewrite. I had written an entire book one way, but now I'm taking it apart and killing my babies and trying to look at it in a whole different way. But I think it will be a much stronger book when I'm done, and I'll be a much better writer for having to do this.

If you're a writer, do you like to rewrite? And if you're a reader, have you ever read anything that is a little low on plot?


Anonymous said...

Karen, I have no doubt that you can pull "it" off (whatever it is)--or anything, for that matter! The book sounds intriguing, and I'm sure I'll tear through it when it sees the light of day. If you're still reading this, feel free to return to the killing of your babies...


Clea Simon said...

For me, starting the rewrite is the hardest part. It's like the tide is going out and I'm desperatly clinging to my sand castle. Or something. But once I start... hooboy! It sounds like the flow is going with you, so go go go!