For once, I wasn’t inspired to start a new story. This inspiration came in the form of finally knowing how to rewrite the beginning of a novel. I finished the first draft of this particular manuscript a year or so ago. I knew even as I wrote the end that the beginning had to be completely rewritten. What I originally has was exciting, captivating, unrealistic garbage. When you know your beginning is bad, that can be really discouraging. But I had the advantage of knowing I could rewrite the first few chapters without having to trash the whole story. So I finished the manuscript and set about planning the rewrite.
I had no idea how to start my story. What I had kept invading my thoughts and I began thinking, “Well, if I just tweak this a bit and make some minor changes here, it might be okay.” Uh-uh. This beginning would never be okay. At least not in this book.
So, I set the manuscript aside and got to work on other things. Every once in a while, I’d take a look at the manuscript to see if I could figure out how to rewrite it, but the result was always the same. After a day or two of frustration and no inspiration, I’d put the ms away again and go back to my current project.
Then yesterday I woke up and had an idea. It started slowly, then I talked to a couple of people about seemingly random topics, and my new beginning came to me. I made plenty of notes on what the beginning needed to include as well as a few things that had to change later in the story because of the rewrite. I salvaged my original first paragraph with a few minor alterations and the first sentence of the second paragraph, then I began writing completely new stuff. Of course, it didn’t take long for the story to go in a different direction than I expected, but it works perfectly with a scene later in the book.
I’m so excited about this! I know where I want to submit this manuscript when I finish it, revise it, revise it again, and possibly revise it one more time after that. Now I just need to find the time to finish that rewrite. Between work, polishing another manuscript, finishing a third manuscript, and searching for an agent for a fourth, it looks like late at night will be my time to rewrite.
Some might call me crazy, but I love the occasional insanity that is the publishing world! Even the mind-boggling writing, rewriting, and revising process that makes the faint of heart cower in fear is something I can’t imagine living without. And now, it’s back to work so I can get to my rewrite faster.
Happy writing, y’all!