My car is so old that my mechanic took off the gas cap and handed it to me. His advice? Replace everything else.
You’re a writer, you know how it goes. You write the first draft, and then you rewrite, and then you rewrite it some more, and then it’s almost close to right. So you keep rewriting…
So riddle me this, Batperson: let’s say you have a house. It’s very nice, but you think maybe it’s time to remodel the kitchen, and maybe the bathroom. So you start changing things, you know. What if we did this, and put that room over there, and made a master suite, and an office, and a wet bar… and pretty soon, the only wall that isn’t changed is that one in the kitchen.
When it’s all done, is it the same house? It has the same address, I suppose, and sits on the same foundation. But is it the same joint that was built back in 1973?
The reason we’re here with this wearisome query is clear: I’m lost.
In putting cake under the icing, adding steak to go with the sizzle, I have somehow fundamentally changed the story.
“What?!? How could this be?” you ask. “I haven’t read the original, but I’m sure it was so good!”
The first draft was rather a madcap page-turning adventure story. Very fluffy and fun to write. And, according to my wife, the first 19 pages were the best I’ve written.
But everything from page 20 on is now new. Oh, they’re the same characters, but each now has more depth and solidity and backstories and stuff like that. And now there’s a clear plot and everything.
So, I ask you. Is it the same story? The same book?
This is a double conundrum because this book is actually a rewrite of my already self-published novel Droppington Place. If you haven’t read that one, well, there it is.
Sooooo, I’m thinking that I need to get out of the rewriting business and let this be a new book. The primary character is named Winchester Penrose. Maybe the new book will be called The Sawdust Man, a Winchester Penrose Story.
God, that sounds presumptuous, doesn’t it? Right out of the box, you’re launched into a series.
Shoot, I can’t even think of a sequel!