On School Days, We Write

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I finished rewriting The Tiny Giant at the beginning of August. I let it sit for three weeks to redistribute the juices before I read it.  Honestly, I was scared to tears of it.  Here’s why:  I worked really hard for six months rewriting it, and maybe it wasn’t any better.

That rewrite was the most painful writing I’ve ever done.  The new book is about 10,000 words shorter, but more than that, it’s almost unrecognizable.  A different, better writer did this version.  I learned so much writing 150,000 words over the last two and a half years.  A lot of those words didn’t survive, and some of them are different stories, but they were all critical to getting here.

Two weeks ago, I finally read the new manuscript.  You know what?  It’s good.  I have a handful of things I’d like to change, but it’s nothing like that half-in, half-out thing I did right before it, the in-between the First Reader draft and here.  I’m all in, and it shows.

What did I actually DO differently?  I gave myself permission to write whatever needed to be written, even though it’s aimed at a YA audience.  I will probably go and scrub the one time I wrote “FFS” in the dialogue–that was just a placeholder–but moving the intensity up gave it higher stakes.  I practiced writing in different formats, short stories and etc…  This cut my rambling descriptions down naturally, gave me better economy and impact.  I made myself uncomfortable.  I took chances, and I wrote from a highwire instead of a comfy nursery glider.

The kids are in school now, and I have longer blocks of time to edit and fix the little things.  I need a coherent synopsis and a cover letter to send out.  End of September?  You betcha.  I’m excited to get there.  That doesn’t mean I’m not procrastinating… like writing a blog post about it…but I’ll get there.

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