Today I spoke with one of The Book Doctors, Arielle Eckstut, about my 2008 NaNoWriMo story that I am working on turning into a book. Because NaNo encourages you to write without editing, a second read earlier this year reinforced what I knew I had to do: gut the first half of my story and rewrite it completely.
To help me get an idea of what I wanted the story to actually be, I spent time writing a basic summary of the story from beginning to end. That way, when I sat down to write, I could break down my writing in chunks and keep the overall story arc in mind.
The protagonist is a librarian who is the star of her very own “girl figuring her shit out” story, as Arielle put it. The work profession choice was apparently a ‘brilliant’ one as librarians are some of the people who read and recommend books. I had not thought about that, but it made sense after I heard her say it. Hurray for accidental brilliance!
Arielle recommended I start by scan/reading about 50-100 books in the genre that I want to write in so that I can get an understanding of how these stories play out. I have not really read in the genre too much, so this will be a good crash course.
To round out the feedback time I had, Arielle asked me to send her 10 pages of double-spaced writing that I currently have so she get a feel for the voice and she will provide me with additional written feedback on my story. I sent her a scene where the protagonist, Ellie, discovers her ex spying on her at a cafe they used to frequent.
I worried that this storyline would be untenable, but it’s got promise. I think it will be fun to write it, even though I’m starting from scratch. I can still keep a portion of my old story, approximately 35% percent, but it might be rewritten or adjusted slightly.
I am fine with that. I am getting excited about embarking on a story rewrite, my first.