It’s interesting how the universe puts things in my path at the appropriate times. It’s up to me to see it and learn, rather than trip and fall on my face.
I always read the How I Write column in The Writer magazine. I find it interesting how other people tick – what their habits are, where they get their inspiration. Anyway, this month Hillary Casavant interviewed Jenna Blum who had some interesting thoughts about revision. Ms. Blum said she writes each draft from scratch, rather than revising the text of the previous draft. That sounded like crazy talk. Why would anyone ever start over from scratch? The first draft can be so arduous. I put the magazine back on the coffee table and walked away, yet I couldn’t stop thinking about the article. I am currently revisiting the novel-shaped thing that I wrote during Nanowrimo. (Overlook is up on Kindle now, Lara (my yet-to-get-a-real-title WIP) is out with the betareaders, and I am driving myself nuts.) I’ve read through the first draft a couple of times and have been making notes in the margins. Then, I remembered that article. It’s not sounding so crazy anymore. I think it would be cleaner to start over again with a blank page. The story has far too many characters now and a bunch of subplots that either need to expand into stories of their own, or shrink to be asides. I don’t know where it is going quite yet, but it’s exciting.
Have you ever put aside a draft and started a novel over? How did it work out?