Friday, April 3, 2015

To Rewrite or Not to Rewrite...Is That Even a Question?

When we signed with Creativia, I told Collin I was seriously considering complete rewrites for most of my backlist books. They were written and published in the late '80s and '90s (1988-1997, to be specific) and were outdated. I even mentioned the possibility to our publisher, Miika Hannila.

Then, I gave the books a good, hard look. Did I really want to invest that kind of time and effort when I could be writing new books? No. I didn't.











I knew I wasn't going to rewrite The Unicorn's Daughter. It was my favorite of all of my backlist books. I recalled how much I'd enjoyed writing it, especially those last  few chapters, intertwining Jaime's search for her father with the US air strike against Libya. It had become relevant again, with all that's currently happening in the Middle East. It would be the basis for a series, if I could kick my brain into gear and actually write it.

But what about the rest of the books? How could I interest readers in twenty-year-old novels? It took me a while to realize I already had the answer.

I had contemplated a series of "Where Are They Now?" blog posts about each of the main characters, catching up on the events in their lives since their books ended. I already knew what had become of them--why not weave their current stories into my works in progress? It could work....

This is one of the best things about not being under contract to a conventional publisher, specifically a Big Six (or is it Big Five now?) publisher. Nothing is ever chiseled in stone. We as authors are in the driver's seat. If something's not working, we can change direction, plot a new course.

These characters' lives have changed dramatically in the past two decades.  All were affected in one way or another by world events and personal crises. I might still write those intended blog  posts--but now my characters will also live on in new novels. Their author has undergone some major changes...and so have they.




19 comments:

  1. What a very good idea Norma, when you think about it they do it in the movies all the time and most movies are based on a book.. Go for it!

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  2. What a very good idea Norma, when you think about it they do it in the movies all the time and most movies are based on a book.. Go for it!

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    1. Thanks for the vote of support, Grace!

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  3. That sounds like a wonderful way to write new stuff, but keep the good old stuff.

    I'm considering what to do with the trunk novel - I like the characters, there was a lot of good work there (it was the novel of the heart), but it is flawed and dated.

    Dated I have mentally fixed: I will market as a historical mystery.

    Flawed, I still have to get to. Fortunately, it was never published (the nibbles from agents - one actually got the whole thing!) rightfully didn't go anywhere. This is around the turn of the century - I have learned some writing skills since. When I finish the next two books of the WIP, I'll give it a week or so, see if it can be rescued (it is in a unique niche - might be), and either do it because I know how - or not do it because I figure out it can't be fixed.

    Right now it just goes around in my head and my to do list, coming up every now and then as, "Remember me?"

    Good luck with your new plan - I look forward to hearing how it works out.

    Alicia

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    1. Alicia, I suspect you're far more organized than I am! Good luck with all of your WIPs!

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  4. Sounds like a much better plan than investing so much time in rewriting! Hope it works out in bringing interest to old work and letting you concentrate on new stuff!

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  5. Yeah, I'd rather be writing new stuff. Go for it. Have fun. What the heck?

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    1. If only I can kick my brain into gear! Miika sent me revisions to go over and I still haven't gotten them back to him--at one point, I thought I'd accidentally deleted them!

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  6. It certainly does make more sense than overhauling the original material, and gives you a chance to look in on old friends, so to speak.

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    1. Over the years, I've had a lot of people ask me what happened to this character or that one, even had it come up in a few reviews--and I'd like to let everyone see how these people have evolved. (Besides, it's easier than rewriting all those books!)

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  7. Oh My Goodness !
    This sounds like a great way to get old reader to find out what happen and maybe interest for some new readers.
    You have such good ideas,

    cheers, parsnip

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  8. "Where are They Now?" is a great idea!

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    1. Thanks, Lynn--the first will be posted on Wednesday!

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  9. Very cool and wishing you the best. Exciting stuff.

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    1. Sure thing. Hope all is going well on your end. Have a groovy weekend and boogie boogie.

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  10. For four more days, my novel Chasing the Wind will be a $.99 special at Amazon!

    http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Wind-Norma-Beishir-ebook/dp/B0073YZ51A/ref=la_B002BMF4CO_1_6_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428269695&sr=1-6

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