As my novels receive their new names, they’re also getting rewritten. Lingering errors are being fixed, and unnecessary words, phrases and entire scenes are landing on the cutting room floor. All well and good. My biggest conundrum doesn’t come from what should never have been that way to being with. It comes from what shouldn’t be that way now.
The first draft of this novel was written in 2013. How much changes in six years?
Society continues to evolve. At least more so than not.
My book Layers of Light is not only about human trafficking and female heroes, it is a book about the obstacles faced by women everywhere. It was written before the Me Too movement, and before we had a major candidate for president who was a woman. It was written before “grab ’em by the pussy” and Stormy Daniels. In some ways, it feels to me as if it comes out of a more naive time. How much of the world of 2019 should go into a rewrite?
I also continue to evolve. At least I hope so.
For over three years now, I’ve been a more or less full time writer. Thanks to classes, groups, and online opportunities, I’ve gotten better at my craft. Practice and study will do that for you.
I’ve also become more politically aware. Writing full time gives you a little more wiggle room to pay attention to the world. As you pay attention, you learn.
Having more free time has also allowed me to be a volunteer. I spend a day a week helping survivors of domestic violence. Individually and in aggregate, they and the social workers who assist them, have taught me so much. It’s no surprise some of that pertains to novel about obstacles women face.
So how much of the new me should go into a rewrite?
I’m making decisions about this all on a case by case basis. Definitely redo that. Don’t touch this. Modify a little here. I hope the result will be a realistic book about young women in 2012 that resonates with the real women of 2020. I think that’s possible.
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