Photo by Getúlio Moraes on Unsplash
That’s right, I said I was going to dig up an old project to rewrite and publish in 2020, and the one I’ve chosen is #rockstarnovel, my NaNoWriMo novel from 2016. Yeah, it’s been gathering dust for three years now.
Despite that, I’ve thought about it often. To this day, when I go running, if my brain gets blank my mind might jump to these characters, because I’ll imagine them covering whatever song is up on my playlist. Which one of them would suggest it? How would they arrange it? Would they play it straight or put some spin on it? Who would the lyrics mean the most to?
Music has always been a huge part of my life, and I went and made my first romantic hero in print a struggling singer-songwriter, so go figure the next big project I tackled afterward stepped me up to a full band.
I’m about a quarter of the way through rereading it and taking a fresh set of notes about what needs cutting and what needs fixing. Part of the problem was that I bit off more than I could chew with my concept–a double romance, both of a pair of twins finding love over the course of the same tour of their band. One of those plot lines turned out far superior to the other, and facing the rewrite the first time I tried to keep them both, shoring up the lesser one with more development. But it wasn’t working, and I knew it wasn’t working, so I set it aside to work on other things, and here we are years later.
Another part of the problem is that I had done about zero research into what being on tour was like; since then I’ve read quite a few rock-star novels, whether adult romance or YA, and taken notes on what made sense and what didn’t. (Obviously some are more realistic than others. Also, not all tours are created equal in the real world.) I think I can make this believable enough to read as realistic without slavishly including every single detail until the plot is totally lost in the shuffle. (I’m haven’t forgotten you, For The Record.)
So what am I doing differently this time around? I’m cutting that second, weaker romance entirely, which entails looking at each chapter from either of those characters’ POVs and deciding if I still need to show those events, and if so, which of the surviving POV characters get to “see” them. And if I am cutting the whole chapter, I have to make notes about what world- or character-building I did in it, so I know where to find it if it needs to get moved elsewhere when I start to rewrite.
This is going to be a tedious process, but a necessary one. A lot of writing advice would have an author “bang out” their reread as fast as possible, so as not to get bogged down in fixing each problem as it comes up, but to look at the whole. I’ve seen advice that says get the whole process done in as little as three to four days, but I don’t write full-time, so I’m aiming to have it done in two weeks. By the 15th, I want to have all my notes in order, an outline of events with the chapters I’m keeping slotted in and the holes marked where I have to write new ones, and a reasonable goal set, time-wise, for getting the next draft written (once I know how much new material I need.)
So expect me to check back in on this in two weeks!