I have begun the process of re-writing Charley’s Dragons, my “finished” MS! I decided to do this after everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) in my critique group were thrilled about the same parts and annoyed/angered/frustrated at the other same parts. The story was told in three perspectives, but one of them wasn’t working. I also allowed my grandmother to read the MS and she forgot almost everything that happened in the perspective my critique group hated. My mom shook this off, saying that my gramma is old and her memory isn’t fabulous, but I thought it was significant. Obviously a major part of my MS was not working, and not even worth remembering.
The original perspectives were: dialog between Charley and the psychiatrist, third person perspective showing the real world, and first person perspective of Charley in a hallucination world. No one liked the third person perspective in my group. The characters apparently were unlikable and the writing was stilted. I was feeling unsure of how to edit, when one member suggested getting rid of the third person perspective all together. I could feel the light bulb turning on over my head. I needed to re-write my book.
I am really enjoying how my MS is coming along. It was scary at first when I took out the third person perspective and my MS dropped over 40,000 words. That’s a lot to make up, especially since half of the story is dialog. I have been picking away at the story and I think it is working. I can take the events that happen in the old parts and make them even more interesting in the remaining parts. The word count is slowly moving ahead (I’m up to 21,000 words! Woo Hoo!) but I think it will reach novel length. The original MS was pretty short for a novel as it was, but hopefully agents will not get pissy about a shorter novel.
I have taken a risk deciding to re-write the book, yet it was a necessary endeavor. I wanted to have an agent by now and be on the way to a second published book, but agents were not thrilled and my critique group helped me see why. I am looking forward to finishing Charley’s Dragons again, although I know the process will be slow balancing writing and my 4 jobs and needy pets, but it will get done. I’m staying positive and taking it a little bit at a time! Something is better than nothing.