Manuscript Makeover

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Ways To Love Re-Writing Your Novel

If you’re like most writers, completing your novel’s first draft is a cathartic experience. From story inspiration up through meticulous plot and character development and execution, story creation is a special act, regardless of level of experience.

Perhaps its just this level of relief that makes a novel rewrite so difficult to fathom. After that long journey, even the most sensible writer must hold to at least a shred of belief that this is the one. This is that rare manuscript where the first draft can stand on its own two feet. A few clicks from perfect. Spell check. Continuity. This book is done.

Deep down, we all know that this kind of thinking is simply not true. First drafts aren’t just unpolished, they are by nature incomplete. Pieces of the story are missing. Most writers who stall here, do so because re-writing is thought to be the novelist’s dirty work.

This doesn’t have to be true though. It’s simply a matter of rethinking your writing from the inside out. Draft number two doesn’t need to be re-written. Think of it as re-inspired. Here are three ways you can look at your first draft with a new set of eyes.

#1.) Remember Why You Fell In Love With Your Central Character

Whether romance or spy or sword and sorcerer, writers fall in love with their characters. It’s natural. Like all love, it needs occasional re-kindling.

Go back in and rediscover that love. Stoke the flames. When you re-invest in your character and look deeper into the situations you placed them in, more aspects of their personality emerge. Take some of those new revelations and bring them to life.

#2.) Deepen The Stakes

Find what you love about your character and expand upon it. Then discover what threatens them and make it even bigger, nastier and harder to overcome. Fear of snakes? Put them in a snake pit.

Your readers will love you for it.

#3.) Broaden Your Horizons

World building is a must have writer’s skill. The threshold has been set rather high in this series based, franchise obsessed publishing market. Find elements of your history, touches that are unique to your story world and enrich them. Steep your readers in folklore.

If there are details in your head then get them on the page. They’re not going you, your story or your readers any good in reserve.

Still struggling? Get in touch with me today and we can discuss a manuscript solution that fits your book’s specific needs.

Erick MertzManuscript Makeover

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