After spending what was left of my afternoon reading articles on getting published and how apparently I need an agent for traditional publishing, I began rereading my story. First came the joy of reading what I wrote… I mean, this was my story! My characters!
Then I stumbled over a sentence where I had to change a few words around to give it a better flow.
Suddenly I was whisked away again, on my journey through the nighttime atmosphere of Villenoire. As I followed Jefferson, my protagonist, away from his orphanage and toward the silken tents of the circus, I grew proud of the world I was creating. The funny thing is, the world is still evolving. That portion of the story is very well thought out and my writing is of a commercial quality.
Further along, however, not as lucky.
My descriptions are farther apart than the beginning. The story begins to get dialogue heavy. Suddenly, there are more locations and I begin to wonder… where in the world is this place?
For all of you pantsers out there, take note. This is exactly the problem writing with no plan will get you into. You see, writing with no plan is very liberating. You write one word after the other and for me, I let my characters guide me. I’ve spoken of my method before; Five plot points, and the direction was dictated by the actions of the people. This worked well to get the whole idea down… but now it has left some gaps.
This has left me with the title question: Do I edit or rewrite? Both have their benefits.
Editing would keep the completed story as its current version. As good as that is, it would take quite awhile to fine tune it to the point where everything fits together like a puzzle. For Tolkien, his world included the map, which made everything tangible. If I edit, there could still be some lingering piece of description that I miss. As a perfectionist, that would definitely frustrate me.
Rewriting would carry the benefit of having the story’s plotline in such great detail that if I broke the current novel into points, a rewrite wouldn’t take as long as the initial copy. Also, cohesion would be at its best this way as once the world is fleshed out, I can ensure from page one that everything will be the same and work together. On the other hand, the idea of a rewrite seems daunting… especially when I have seven novels stirring in my brain.
From these brief points, rewriting seems a better way to go… much to my dismay. I mean, no one ever wants to start from page one again. But with that comes the ability to add in further detail to make the world I’m creating a real place. Not only that but if I factor in the other trilogy I have in mind… if it was ever made into a movie it would be awesome for people to point out the ruins of a 2000-year-old Villenoire or other prominent locations from Jefferson’s story. This idea is exciting for me, almost more so than the stories themselves. It’s that world building that got me interested in fantasy novels and video games in the first place, so this is no surprise to me!
Now… as is always the problem with us writing types…
When do I start?