The BIG Epiphany and #ROW80

Last week, I posted about Epiphanies While Editing. Little did I know that the biggest epiphany was yet to come.

First, let me say that I adore the two agents who responded to my query and partial submissions with specific comments. They were right to reject my YA novel and gave helpful feedback. Which I then started mulling over and over and over.

At the same time, I was working through revisions of my novel using Margie Lawson’s Deep EDITS system and noted some issues as I went along. I started mulling those over and over and over.

All of that mulling led to an AHA! moment worthy of one of these:

I need to rewrite this whole thing in a different POV!

Now this is no small realization because I have more than one POV, and I’m switching viewpoints. As such, I will be deleting some scenes, merging a couple of characters, rewriting scenes to work crucial information into the plot through other characters and means, etc.

I was immediately certain this could solve some problems and make the novel way better, but I confess to feeling less than ecstatic about this particular epiphany. Instead, I jumped on Facebook and whined a little.

In response, I received an outpouring of sympathy, encouragement, and enthusiasm from fellow writers. I encourage every writer to find a group of fellow writers, whether face-to-face or online, who can give perspective and support when you need it. In turn, be that kind of person to others. This is one of the big benefits of ROW80 as well–the community that it builds.

And after the wonderful words and wisdom from others, I began tackling the daunting task of rewriting a story I really like in hopes that readers will someday like it too. What else is going on? Well, here’s my ROW80 update:

  • Cheer on the ROW80 participants. I am so sorry! I did not get to this one, and there is no good reason why.
  • Revise SHARING HUNTER MILLS, my young adult contemporary novel, using Margie Lawson’s Deep EDITS program. Yeah, well. I did this. Then I stopped. Because hey, I’m rewriting it now!
  • Exercise at least twice each week. I felt under the weather early in the week, then in a funk the last half of the week. But no excuses! I blew it on this one. *kicking self*
  • Submit a query for SHARING HUNTER. As Gilda Radner’s Emily Litella would say, “Never mind.”
  • Read at least 50 pages of current craft book. Nope. Read one more chapter of Wired for Story.

Added last week:

  • I want to keep fresh with writing, so I plan to work on writing a short story. I did work on the story some, but not as much as I had hoped.
  • Write and present interview questions for three guests who will be stopping by my blog this fall. I wrote interview questions for two guests, and I still owe the third her set. I’m excited to have a few friends join me for my High School Halls blog series.

We have only a few days left of this round! How is everyone doing with ROW80, your writing goals, or life in general? If you want to cheer on my fellow ROWers, click HERE.

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13 thoughts on “The BIG Epiphany and #ROW80

  1. {{Hugs}} on the revisions! I hate when I find something like that, where it’s going to be a huge amount of work but I have to do it because it will make the book so much better. You will get through it, and be glad you did! Also, you’re very smart to do this first, then go back to Deep Edits. (I took DE several years ago.) It’s more of a polishing thing, and makes more sense to do the big-picture stuff first. Good luck and have a great week!

  2. I love epiphanies, even the ones that give us a lot of work, because in the end they will make our stories better.
    And I know how you’re feeling. I realized I was writing my previous ms–which I abandoned at the start of revisions–from the wrong pov too.
    Here what an editor said on twitter: “Story borked beyond repair? Trash every draft. Start over with an outline using only the details important enough to remember. #editortips”
    The link: https://twitter.com/smoulderingsea/status/246022025855000577
    And that’s what I plan to do, after I’m done with all editings I’m working on right now. To rewrite the whole thing … it’s going to be a lot of work and stressful, but my ms will be better, stronger.
    *hugs* Here’s to a better week and a better manuscript!!

    1. I really think my MS can be salvaged. When I was starting to edit, I found some parts I absolutely loved, so I don’t want to trash those. But it is going to be a long haul.

      Best wishes with your rewrite! Sometimes that’s just what it takes to deliver the story you want to tell. Thanks, Juliana.

  3. I remember that editortips tweet, good one, Juliana. I think you’ll be surprised, Julie, how fast you’ll get this re-write done. You already know these characters and you know your outline. It’s an exciting time, what an opportunity. Yes, that’s the glass half full kind of thinking, but it’s still true. Just imagine how much folks are going to love your story after this change, you already had their interest before. Now that is exciting stuff. Have a fabulous week, Julie.

    1. You make a great point that I already know these people. I spent hours and hours with these characters, so the second time around should be easier. I like your glass half full thinking, S.J. (especially when I’m a pessimist by nature). I guess this puts all that query stuff on hold. 😉

  4. Sometimes the hardest thing is having an epiphany like that and then doing the massive amount of work required to fix it. I’m in the middle of a rewrite, too, because an agent rejected my ms with the most thoughtful feedback. I so appreciated her comments. The amazing thing was that she didn’t tell me anything that I hadn’t already suspected, but I was in denial about it. It was a lesson in trusting my own instincts to make something right before calling it finished. Thanks for sharing your epiphanies!

    1. Isn’t it wonderful when an agent takes the extra time to say WHY your WIP isn’t working? I also appreciated the comments I got. When the agents gave me their feedback, I immediately knew what they said was true. Thanks, Diana!

  5. I can understand your frustratino at the level of work needed to fix your WIP, but… you know how to fix your WIP! That’s the greatest part. Once you finish the re-write, including editing, your new, “finished” product will be that much closer to selling!

    Don’t be afraid of the work… embrace it! Take that negative flow in your mind and make it work for you, instead of against you. (Okay, that last part was an adaptation of something I saw in an old episode of Star Trek: Voyager last night, but it works, right?)

    Good luck, and I’ll be here, cheering you on!

  6. I’m certain all this hard work will pay off in the end! You do want to submit the best possible novel to agents, and if it takes a rewriting to get there, it’s never time wasted. Good luck and see you during the next ROW80 round?

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