Thursday, March 05, 2015

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO A REWRITE


I recently self-published my first book, GENERATIONAL CURSE. However, it isn’t the first book I wrote. That honor belongs to THE ALEX CHRONICLES:WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW. It’s the first book in a series about five best friends. The stories follow the characters as they maneuver and meander their way through a lot of secrets. The tagline asks the simple question: How well do you know your best friends?

I think I was watching Bridget Jones’ Diary or Sex And The City, when I got the idea for the book. I went into this thinking it would be a stand alone and then the characters reminded me I had left a few unanswered questions. I immediately started answering those questions in the second book. However, a new book answered those questions, but it also created a few new ones. On to book three.

Fast forward, a couple of new computers, three crashed hard drives and a healthy relationship with Dropbox and back up drives, I am 30 pages away from completing my first series. NOT.

I went to a conference and an agent requested it, didn’t like it. Another agent liked it and signed me. [I shared this story in an previous post]. While my oldest child was out making the rounds, I gave birth to a surprise baby, GENERATIONAL CURSE. In writing that book, I saw my oldest baby with fresh eyes. While working on GENERATIONAL CURSE, I read a lot [I also judged the BBB which exposed me to some different genres]. The advice that in order to learn how to write, you have to read, is so true. I liked how GENERATIONAL CURSE developed. It has just the right amount of heat and edge to keep the reader engaged. THE ALEX CHRONICLES was missing that.

I got a stack of post-its, a notebook and a few red pens and started performing surgery. When I was done, I liked the characters even better. They were mature with great personalities and better story lines.

Here’s the funny part. I had a cover based on the old manuscript. No matter how much I wanted it to work, it just didn’t now. And because I knew I had the other books complete, except for those last 30+ pages for book three, I bought the covers for them as well. Now none of them fit. Back to the beginning.

I ordered a proof with the manuscript changes, but every time I looked at that cover, it just reiterated I had to make a change. After reading the proof, something else kept gnawing at me…the first seven chapters. I had been fighting with myself about those pages longer than the cover issue. No matter how much I liked the content, I felt it didn’t really tell the story. This was a major realization for me. So, last week, I highlighted the pages and hit delete. It felt like someone had chopped off one of my arms. I stepped back, looked at the book with a revised chapter eight as my new chapter one, did a little tweaking and I like it. It immediately grabs you.

What about the first seven pages? My plan is to add a few thousand words and make a novella. So now my little three book series, will become a four book series. As for the new cover, it has a much more sophisticated feel. I’m saving the Cover Reveal for later.

I’m hoping to release this book by the end of Spring.

Tracy Reed

readtracyreed@me.com
www.readtracyreed.com

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