Let’s do it all again

Even before The Flower Seller was launched I had already turned my mind to my next book conscious of the mantra of write, publish, repeat. My next full length romantic novel White Lies will be out in June 2017. White Lies was written a few years ago and did the rounds of the main publishing houses (as The Flower Seller did). I had some nice comments but no takers and so it went into a box and was tucked away. In my blog on 12th May 2016 I talked about Diamonds in the Drawer https://goo.gl/AchuZW those pieces of writing that have been discarded for various reasons but which might, with a little loving care, live to see the light of day once more.

Diamond in the Rough
Diamond in the Rough by Orin Zebest courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

https://flic.kr/p/7GQqYi  https://goo.gl/AoRlSm

So it is with White Lies. It’s been a number of years since I last looked at the manuscript. I remember the characters and the main plot points but I couldn’t remember every little detail because so much time had passed. In one way I found that exciting – how often have we wished to have the ability to see our writing through the eyes of a stranger, as if reading it for the first time. Now I would come as close to achieving that as possible. But I’ll let you into a little secret. I was scared of starting the read through.

Panic by Krysten Newby courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0

https://flic.kr/p/ADMrx   https://goo.gl/VAhsB

I’m a busy person so finding reasons to put it off was easy, so easy in fact that I didn’t even consciously register I was avoiding it until the avoidance became extreme. When I did finally grasp what was happening, I knew I was running scared in case reading it with fresh eyes opened my eyes to the fact it wasn’t very good and perhaps it would be better not to find out.

Hide by PhotoAtelier courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

https://flic.kr/p/hUBori  https://goo.gl/sZ7V7x

But I’m a practical person who believes in meeting problems head on so I pulled myself together, poured myself a stiff drink and started to read. Three days and one hundred thousand words later I was finished. My assessment? It needs work but not as much work as I’d feared. The characters and the plot hold together. It needs a good edit and some finessing and I need to tinker with the structure at the end but it’s all doable. I even started to feel excited at the prospect of tackling the rewrites.

A couple of things struck me as I read the story through. I began to remember the scenes I had struggled with and sure enough they still don’t read as smoothly as the ones which came easily but at least now I could spot why this was. What really irked me, however, was the fact that on three occasions I ducked the scene.

Crucial scenes were told either in flashback or reported by one character to another. Reading the story in 2016 I can’t now remember why I did that. Perhaps it was the pressure of the word count (the story was bouncing up at 120,000 words at one stage) but I think it was more likely the case that I considered the scenes too big for me and the coward in me ran and hid instead of toughing it out and getting the scene down on paper.

Trust focus strength
Trust, Focus, Strength by Dideo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

https://flic.kr/p/4Nxj1  https://goo.gl/sZ7V7x

I stopped ducking scenes years ago but remember this was a story from a long time ago, I obviously still had the habit back then. My writing has now matured and instead of being scared that I’m not capable of doing justice to those scenes they are the scenes I am actually most excited about working on, their potential has got my mind fizzing with enthusiasm. I wouldn’t be surprised if when the book is finished, those scenes don’t end up being amongst the stand out scenes in readers’ minds. We’ll see.

The moral of this story is don’t duck the big scenes through fear. Readers are likely to feel cheated if you do. Back yourself as a writer to do them justice and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised…..I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

The Flower Seller Cover and Blurb
Have love and loyalty gone out of fashion? The Flower Seller by Ellie Holmes available from Amazon now https://goo.gl/KFi7kw

7 thoughts on “Let’s do it all again

  1. Jax Burrows 14/07/2016 / 8:42 pm

    Best of luck with the rewrite. Can’t wait to read it.


    • ellieholmesauthor 15/07/2016 / 3:12 pm

      Thanks Jax – that’s very sweet of you to say. I’ll be keeping people updated via the blog on how the rewrites are going. Ellie x


  2. Jo-Ann Carson 15/07/2016 / 4:37 pm

    HI Ellie,
    I recently dusted off two old manuscripts and re-worked them. It was exhausting, but it felt good. Kind of like cleaning the dust out from beneath the bed.
    I look forward to its launch.
    Best Wishes


    • ellieholmesauthor 15/07/2016 / 4:40 pm

      That’s a great way of describing it! Whenever I’m doing something like this I always think of it as the before and after shots in some of those makeover TV shows – but I think I like your description better 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. K E Garland 16/07/2016 / 11:23 pm

    I once read that you shouldn’t begin a new project while promoting a current one. Do you find it hard going back to the old manuscript while promoting this current one?


    • ellieholmesauthor 17/07/2016 / 11:53 am

      I must confess I have never heard that advice before. I find it best to have my business head on when I’m doing promotion work so I try to ring fence that in say a morning and then in the afternoon put my creative head on and work on new stuff. I can’t flick from one to the other but with a space in between like lunch or on consecutive evenings it’s doable. I find it harder to concentrate on the work in progress when I have new characters and a new story percolating in my mind – too many stories not enough hours to write them in.

      Liked by 1 person

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