About two weeks ago, I got a rewrite request from an editor. She had some comments and would be willing to take another look at my manuscript. I sent out a note saying I would make the changes and then put it off.
In part, that was intentional. I’m the kind of person who needs to let these things gel a bit. It makes the rewrite that much easier.
But it wasn’t entirely intentional. I also landed a contract with the first chapter and outline due tomorrow. Obviously, that has been my first priority. I also got sick. Let’s just say that sneezing etc can be very time-consuming and leave it at that.
Today I set about making the changes. Part of the reason that I like to let things sit is because it gives me time to really consider the editor’s comments. If I don’t, I make the changes in the simplest, most straightforward way possible. There’s nothing wrong with that but these kinds of changes often feel cosmetic and superficial.
When I take the time to think about the changes, I can think of how they would ripple throughout the story. I can consider what existing elements I can pull into these new sections to make them appear original. My first set of changes were amended to eliminate one of the new settings. Why? Because it seemed to spread things out too much. The rewrite led me to do a bit of research on traditional house design. My first set of changes sent the characters in one direction and then another. It terms of illustration and overall story flow, it seemed like a single path would be more easily understood. I just needed to lengthen the path.
Their journey which wanders a bit more than before led to wondering between the characters. Why do you think this? Because of that? This in turn made the characters seem more 3-D.
I’m going to let the story sit again and take it to my critique group before it send it back in. I’m hoping that taking a bit more time with it will enable me to complete a manuscript that is whole and hearty and able to please young readers and editors alike.