A lot of publishing is about waiting. We send out queries and wait. Get requests for partials or fulls and wait. Our agent submits to editors and we wait. We revise, send to our editor, and wait.
Best thing to do with the waiting is work on something else. One thing I've been chipping away at (on an off-and-on basis) is a near-complete rewrite of my very first manuscript.
(Some of you remember Fingerprints, right?)
Can someone coin a term for the writerly version of beer-goggles? I've revised and re-revised this thing so many times I've lost count. It got better each time, and I don't think it was ever terrible.
I still believe in the characters 100%. The world, too. Even the plot, largely.
But the execution ... ugh. Very "what was I thinking?" in places.
I think this is okay. It's not beating up on myself. It's acknowledging the skills I've gained and developed over the past three years. If I weren't capable of writing better now, I'd be worried.
So, the solution?
A blank document. A different opening scene. The same general story, but with new ideas for added tension and conflict. And yes, here and there, some words that are worth keeping.
This is kind of intimidating in some ways. I really hope I can get it up to snuff, so there are lingering worries that maybe it still won't cut it. Hopefully I can just let those doubts motivate me to silence them through sheer awesomeness.
It's also tricky because the original is so cemented in my mind. I want to change enough without changing too much, and there's no telling whether my internal gauge is calibrated right on that count.
Thank goodness for critique partners.
(Yes, Mindy, this means that someday you'll have to read the darn thing AGAIN.)
Have any of you ever done a from-scratch rewrite? Any advice for making it work?