Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Prairie Dogging

At last, this rodent pokes her head out of the burrow. She blinks at the bright morning sun. "Wha--? Whaaaa??"

That's right -- Rewriteville is now in my rearview mirror. All I need to do is a quick re-read this morning, and this afternoon SEASONS goes back to the publisher.

I mentioned earlier I'd never done a major rewrite before. Looking back, it wasn't quite as fraught as I feared it would be.

That's not to say I wish for MORE opportunities to gut the entire middle of a book and rework the plot. Oh, no, that'd be untrue. It was a hassle...

Just not the extreme hassle I thought it would be.

As requests for changes come from a publisher, though, there are times to graciously accommodate and times to dig in your heels. I had both in this rewrite. The publisher wanted me to include a plot to overthrow the king of England, crafted by an earl who was an actual historical person. I did some digging on this guy and realized I couldn't blacken his name this way. He started out loyal to Edward III and stayed so, and enjoyed high favor, throughout his life. That particular request for a change I had to decline. So instead I rewrote to tell how one of this earl's vassals attempted to draw the earl into a plot, and failed.

I think it'll make it a better book. But as my very first editor once told me, "If a suggestion I make goes *clunk* in your heart, mind, or spirit, skip it and move on." Good advice.

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