Thursday, June 3, 2010

Epic Rewrite Time!

Song of the Day: I Know (A Song in Ten Words)

Now that I have finished Letters to Oliver, have handed it off to my dear friend Erin and am not letting myself think about it till it's time to dive in for revisions, I have started the monster project for this summer - revamping (all right, rewriting) A Bridge to War. I wrote about 900 words just last night, and I am quite pleased with it so far. Already it feels darker and more realistic and more historically accurate and more interesting and just all around better.

I had originally planned to rewrite the things that needed rewriting and salvaging as much as I could from previous drafts, but after last night I'm not sure that's going to work. In 3 pages, which will probably amount to about half a chapter, and less than 900 words, I said what it took me 17 pages, 2 chapters and over 5,000 words to say in the draft I was previously sending out to agents. Good Lord, but this thing is overwritten. Still, I'll probably take bits and pieces from the original, because there is still a lot that I like about it.

My plans for revision are as such:

1. Bump the timeline up about twenty years, from 1771 to 1789. Nothing happens in 1771. LOTS happens in 1789, obviously. And I have plans to combine a very important part in which my characters are imprisoned, my climax, and the storming of the Bastille. Good fun. :)

2. Make absolutely certain that everything is historically accurate, from settings to dialogue. My best friend is apparently far more Google-savvy than I, for it took her approximately five minutes to find an 18th century map overlay for Google Earth France. WIN. Also, I've got Wikipedia timelines and a European History textbook stolen from my friend Erin for fact checking, and Rosalind Laker's novel To Dance with Kings for dialogue and tone. Methinks that I am set.

3. Cut extraneous everything. There's a lot of dead space wandering around in the woods. There are also ten million extraneous characters. Some of the ones getting the axe include Nayiri, who was such fun to write but rather flat and useless, to be honest, Amelie, Rose's cute little sister who really serves no purpose at all, Rose's cousins in Paris, since Rose herself now lives in Paris, some of Avar's too many cousins, and some of my made-up government officials.

I think that once I tighten up the plot and actually align it with historical events to give this wreck of a trilogy some direction after book one, all will work out well. I'll also be adding in a little bit more of the romantic element that got cut in order to size draft 1 down to a slightly more manageable draft 2. But if I can cut 4,000 words in one night, hardly without a thought, I think that can go back in.

ETA: My mom the French major has absolutely, positively vetoed my title idea. Which is fine; I was just sort of musing aloud and asking for feedback on the musing. Until I get a better idea, it's going to stay as A Bridge to War. Because that took me long enough to come up with in the first place.



  1. Congrats on finishing Letters to Oliver! and I kind of like After Me Comes the Flood. It's intriguing.

  2. this is sounding epic.
    and gosh, do i ever enjoy that google story.

  3. wow what a plan!!

    you are going to rock it! :D

    by the way -- i like "After Me Comes the Flood" it's very unique. i can see myself more pulled by a title like that than one that has the word "war" in it. i think it's my natural instinct to block out things like that. lol.


  4. Karla: Thanks! I guess I'll go with that, then. :)

    Ella: Woots! Glad you like the sound of it. And you are going to hold that over my head forever, aren't you?

    Tahereh: Thankee! I certainly hope so. And thanks for the reasoning behind the title choice... that's interesting. And probably true for a lot of people. Thanks!

  5. Epic, indeed! Gorgeous prose thus far, especially in the beginning- it definitely yanked me in and kept me in the story. :D See my email for more lol.

  6. Goooo Caitlin/Kyrie! You can doooo it!

    Good luck with revisions

  7. Erin: Yes, ma'am. :)

    BC: Thanks! Woot, revisions!