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You don't have to be a writer to know what a rewrite is. A rewrite is pretty self explanatory. You do, however, have to be a writer to understand what that really means. It means that I spent three months working on book IV in the Waldorf Manor series, working 75 hours per week on writing, blogging, promoting, networking, etc in the buildup to it all. I 'finished', submitted to Blushing Books, got my contract, got paid, it went to editing. And that's where it stopped. We talked about splitting it into two books, due to the word length (111,000 words). When my editor (who is fantastic, understanding, but always honest) found a place to split the book into, essentially, book IV 'The Glass House' and book V, untitled (and the final book in the series), I had a serious decision to make. She found a great place to split the book and came up with a title. So I took the manuscript back and starting combing through what would have been the first half and began to plump it up so it was more eventful. The idea would be that I take the 'rest' of the book and use it launch book V, which would have been a fantastic head start. But I couldn't do it. I wasn't in love with this manuscript when I started re-reading it. When I submitted it, I was happy. When I got it back, I wasn't. It was like I needed that time to reconsider a few things, and as I began to comb through and add detail, subtract words, add sentences, subtract again (and whilst we're at it, why not say I also multiplied, divided and did a few quadratic equations?), I realised it was becoming a rewrite. I certainly had no plans to do so, and I certainly had no intention of holding my editor up whilst she waited for me to move commas. I discovered a whole new story. The one I submitted in the early weeks of April is vastly different to the one I just re-submitted to my editor last week. I cannot describe what a journey it was this time around - and yes - I have done rewrites before! 'The Courting' was a full-fledged rewrite, thanks to my hawk-eyed beta reader. Without her, 'The Courting' would have been a very different story and one which I think would have been a lot less successful than it was.
I slept until 10:00 am. I remember the moment I woke up, thinking, ''I cannot wait to start writing.'' Because this time around, I knew the manuscript would end differently. If you could have seen how I had 'The Glass House' ending before, you might have rugby tackled me. And no, I won't tell you what it was :) I got dressed, packed my work bag, and walked the six blocks to my local coffee shop. I wrote from 10:43 am until 3:14 am that morning, when I finished. I was so excited. I've never been this excited. I just LOVED what my characters decided to do in this book. I went with it. I didn't force or fight the direction of the story and I couldn't believe what a different book it turned out to be. I left a note on the cupboard that said, ''I finished at 3:14 am and "Emily" got her dream job. WE DESERVE TREATS." And so we went out for ice cream. Because I wrote and then rewrote the book. And it was painful. It was frustrating and discouraging, and then out of nowhere, I had this window of 30 hours where it all came together. It was an experience with writing that is unmatched so far.
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