Rewriting Brave Young Boys

First TimeRewriting. This is a word I have come to dread, but unfortunately one I cannot avoid. Last year I finished my first round edits of my novel, Brave Young Boys. I was so happy. Not only had I written a novel, but I’d also edited it! However, my celebration quickly ended as reality came crashing down on my head. Now I was editing, I had to {dramatic pause} rewrite!

Now, this doesn’t sound all that difficult or like a reason for a dramatic pause. However, this art of the novel writing process has filled me with so much dread that Brave Young Boys has sat on my desk, untouched, for moths. But why? What on Earth is so bad about rewriting that I had temporarily abandoned my novel?

Well, at first it was that I didn’t know where to start. Once I was done editing, I was suddenly left with this story I had written and then torn to shreds while editing. There were plot holes, character names to change, characters to possibly eliminate, major timeline issues, and so many new scenes to write. I was staring at those pages covered in highlighter and sticky notes and it was completely overwhelming.

But I pushed forward anyway. I actually managed to get through the first two and a half chapters before hitting a wall. I was blocked, no clue what to do, and had all these questions in my mind.

Should I rewrite certain parts first?
Should I focus on certain changes first?
Should I be rewriting the whole thing?
Should I just change what needs to be changes?

Should I, should I, should I. So many questions! And there I was with no answers. So I put it aside. I focused on my 2014 NaNo novel, blog posts, fanfiction writing. I knew if I kept trying to rewrite while I was frustrated and confused then the rewrite would probably turn out worse than the original. So I stepped back, did some research, got some perspective and had a much better idea of what to do when I returned to it.

Start with the big stuff: writing new scenes, deciding if all characters are needed, and fixing the timeline so everything makes sense. Then, fix things like plot holes, rewriting them so they make sense. Finally, focus on the smaller things: punctuation, grammar, and spelling, and changing/fixing the names of characters. If any of what I’ve read is true, not only will this make rewriting easier and more organized, but I won’t feel so stressed out about the whole process.

How do you go about rewriting? Do you have any tips for others?

 

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Brave Young Boys: Prologue

I reached 100 followers on my blog (now 114! You’re amazing!) and 200 followers on Twitter! So I’m celebrating by posting the prologue to my novel Brave Young Boys. Thank you so much to everyone who has followed and you can find out more about Brave Young Boys here.

Prologue

October 6, 2013

The rain fell in a steady downpour as the limo pulled into the gates of the church, the gravel crunching audibly beneath the tires. The car carrying the family pulled up behind the limo as the minister walked down the steps, umbrella in hand, to greet them. Stepping out of the car, Aimee was oblivious to the fact that her outfit was slowly becoming soaked through. Her husband stepped out behind her and opened their umbrella, holding it over Aimee’s head. The fresh October air bit at her face, but she didn’t seem to notice that either.
“Come on,” her husband said gently, “It’s time to go inside.” They walked up the steps and Aimee paused at the entrance to the church to turn back and watch as the men pulled the casket out the back of the limo.
“Mom,” her daughter said, “Mom we need to go sit down.” She turned back around and followed her family into the church. Taking their seats at the front, Aimee looked around. The church was full of people, many of whom were in uniform. She was actually surprised by the amount of people there considering they hadn’t advertised the funeral in any of the local papers. All of this was hard enough to deal with without the whole town knowing. She saw her sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew sitting in the pew across from theirs and her sister gave a small wave of greeting that Aimee did not return.
Music began playing and everybody stood as several more men in uniform entered the church, carrying the casket between them. They set it down at the front where it was surrounded by flowers.
Something grabbed the sleeve of her coat and she looked down to see it was Nathan. He was crying. She put her arm around her thirteen year old son, trying to draw comfort from the fact that he was still here with her. But she wasn’t sure if the closeness did much for either of them. Aimee looked around and saw a lot of people were crying. Not the men in uniforms though, they weren’t crying. They had no expression at all.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the minister began and Aimee turned back to the front, “We are here today to the honour the too short life of a brave young boy…”

When the ceremony was over, everyone in attendance made their way outside. The rain continued to fall and the mud made the ground slippery beneath their feet. Nathan nearly fell over twice, and would have done had it not been for his sister grabbing his arm and keep him upright. Everyone gathered around and stood in silence as the casket was brought closer. As they lowered it into the ground, the music started again. She watched the soldiers line up and raise their guns in the air, firing three shots as the casket was lowered further into the ground.
Wait, no, they couldn’t do this. BANG! He was only eighteen, he couldn’t be gone now. BANG! He wasn’t gone, why were they holding a funeral for someone who wasn’t dead? BANG!
“No,” she whispered and her husband looked at her, “No please, not my son… Not Kyler…”

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