Rewriting. It's probably the most magical thing I do. Apart from healing boo-boos with a kiss, I mean.

On a whim I decided to read my first manuscript-- after almost twenty years of pushing it aside on my shelf . With my new eyes I saw some interesting things. 

First, I pulled out the three characters that had enough tension between them to explode in an erotica. And well, I put them in one. Trust Me was born at the end of last year and is still a draft.

Then I took the stale plot and twisted it up with some magic, demons, and two new characters. I created an urban fantasy- Guardian of the Notebooks- with it that still needs an end, but I'll get to it shortly. If you ask me, this is the book it was intended to be, I just didn't know how to get there back then.

After all that, I decided the original amateur murder mystery was still worth saving and so I added it to my pile of manuscripts that need a rewrite and for now, The Donor sits in limbo, not in hell

It got me thinking about how my work evolves over time and well... I came across this scene in my cut pile that I thought I'd share just to prove how important everything we write is. It was from the first draft I wrote of a romance called Fire and Ice. I tore that romance apart, using parts of it in various novels, but the moment I saw this little paragraph I knew where I'd re-used it, even if it was an unconscious action on my part. I shared this scene before, but here it is at it's birth and maturity.

1ST DRAFT-2007 Fire and Ice
Melody’s body moved to the heat of the water and to my delight, every time I touched her, but still she slept. It was awesome, when at one point she mumbled “ice”.

           IN FINAL EDIT-2012 Finding Balance
Her body moved to the heat of the water and to my delight, every time I touched her. I took my time, tasting her, smelling her, whispering to her body. She had me so entranced that when she moaned I moaned back.

Her breath was sweet and her body heaved up to meet my hands.


My world stopped.

What did she say?

Who the fuck was Markus?
Rewrites. Code word for magic. You ever go back and see how your writing evolved? What happened to your first manuscripts? Ever recycle scenes from dead books and turn them into ones you love?


Richard Hughes said...

The first version is a nice scene.

The second version is a story in and of itself (that's when writing really takes off, when it's doing two or more things at the same time).

Obviously, the second version is a vast improvement on the first.

Good to hear from you again.

Suzi said...

I've got lots of manuscripts to go back to. They just got pushed aside for new ideas. I'm looking forward to get into them again someday.

E.J. Wesley said...

It's AMAZING what putting some distance between you and the story can do. Mostly, I think we just learn so much as we write and read other things in between, we can't help but be more prepared to whip them into shape.

I've really learned to enjoy editing and revision--something I couldn't always say. I just think that's when the idea really becomes a story, you know?

Thank you for leaving the review for Dark Prelude on Goodreads, btw! Really awesome of you to do, and so glad you enjoyed it. :) I'm always freaky-nervous that I've really screwed something up until I get two or three decent reviews up. lol

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Great post, Tanya. I recently picked up my very first manuscript and gave myself a mixed review. Lots of scenes that I still love, and a few portions that were painful to read. You have the right attitude calling rewriting "magic!"

Anonymous said...

LOL! Whew, now I need a drink.

I still have hopes for my old manuscripts, so I don't tear them up and recycle scenes. Yet. But I haven't been writing as long as you have, so ask me again in another 10 years.


Teresa Cypher said...

Nice post, Tanya! You did such a great job of showing us magic inaction. I love the rewrite. That last line is priceless. :-)

I have an old paper copy of the very first ms I wrote. I'm not sure I can stand the pain to uwrap it and start reading. I will... Someday...