Friday, May 4, 2012

Slow and Steady

by Mary Sutton / @mary_sutton73

So, here I am. Been a week of unemployment and a week into Rewrite #2 of the novel. I think I came up with a title I don't completely hate - Out of the Blue. See, without giving too much away it speaks not only to one of the details in the story, but the idea of this woman breaking out into her own as an investigator.

Okay, cut me some slack. I'm working on it.

Speaking of working on it, I'm up to what is now Chapter 12 (yeah, those keep changing on me). I've trimmed about 5,000 words from where I started, but I'm sure I'm going to add them back. The manuscript feels "tighter," at least to me. My body is there when the story starts, but I've dropped the idea of murder in chapter 3, instead of chapter 7, and I hope I've introduced what has been described to me as the "hole in the heart" - basically, why you care about this character. A bit of a damaged past for her to work through as a person.

I really hope it works.

The thing about this rewrite is that it's a weird mash-up of tweaking and rewriting. Some of what I have a really like. Some of it, well, "dreck" is probably too strong of a word, but based on what I've learned in the last two months it's not quite as good as I thought it was when I wrote it.

I'm sure my author friends can relate.

My husband is disappointed that my original beginning, which was approximately 25 pages of backstory (you did get a good glimpse of the characters and the world, but it was slow), is gone. That leads me to a question: As a reader, how fast do you like to be thrown into the action? Gentle lead up or right from page one?


  1. It depends on how compelling the back story. If it's a story within a story, then it works well. If it's just a lot of background leading up to the story, then I get bored pretty quickly, I won't lie. Robert Crais is brilliant at writing these mini prologue stories before he gets into the book. You don't know how they tie in until later.

  2. That's the thing - I don't think my backstory worked like that. There was nothing relevant - so I chopped it. My husband liked the character view, but I hope I've just moved that into the rest of the story.