Badly tempted to do a major rewrite from chapter 13 onwards. Good idea, bad idea?

#1
Good folk of Royal Road, 

So currently I'm just editing my first book (it's finished at ~259k) as I post it on RR. It's a trilogy but the first book establishes a romance so the rest of the main plot can happen (there is zero reason for the plot to happen if the two characters just go, "okay, great meeting you, bye!" Also, they would both be very dead at different points in the timeline!) 

The thing is, I'm not much of a romance writer. Traditionally I write horror-fantasy or supernatural horror (and it really is horror, of the "You've summoned a demon and it's making you kill and eat your family, or else" kind), so I'm not very practiced in writing romance the way it would be traditionally presented. The two leads are designed to have a stable and committed relationship from the get-go, rather than the "will they-won't they" push-pull dynamic (I guess it might be wrong to call this a romance. Does this fall under drama instead? I can't really tell...) and they pretty much function like an old married couple without the "old" part. 

The issue here is that I'm not sure if this was a good call to make. I'm getting to the portion of the book where I can choose to diverge significantly from the original sequence of events (move them becoming a couple in Act I to in Act III so it becomes the central conflict of the book--the tease, if you will). The plot needn't change, but it will require every chapter to have substantial rewrites. 

Tl;dr: Should I stick with what I've got and save the extensive rewrite for when I'm done (and have sufficient reader feedback) or should I take the plunge and Just Do It? 

(I'm a planner not a pantser, though, so the prospect of changing a finished work on the fly is nerve-wracking.)

Thanks for your input! 

Re: Badly tempted to do a major rewrite from chapter 13 onwards. Good idea, bad idea?

#3
I am the wrong person to ask. I'm currently 'revising' a rough draft as I post, and... um... it's about 95% new content at this point. :-3 I've gone so far off the original draft rails only the broadest interpretation would consider them the same story. (Chapter 15 in original draft equals... chapter 45 and still not to chapter 16 yet in revision.) :-3

But... I'd say go for it. If the story feels like it should go a different way, why not flow with it? If it'll make it more interesting.

(Disclaimer: not a romance reader, have no stakes in romance plot whatsoever.)

Re: Badly tempted to do a major rewrite from chapter 13 onwards. Good idea, bad idea?

#5

Brian Wrote: I would say I am biased, because I am doing exactly that right now, for my 13th chapter as well.

So I like the idea :)


If you don't mind me asking, how long are your chapters on average and how fast do you write? (Also related: how often do you upload?) Do you find it a manageable pace? My primary concern is that the rewrites will take over all of my writing time, but I'm only about 150k into Book II so my original management plan was to do one final revision of Book I in December and have them uploaded as drafts (scheduled releases). Then on RR I could focus on marketing and devote all of my writing time to Book II. I'm concerned this won't happen now. Also I will have less time in January since RL is going to get really busy (work), so I'm going to be crunched. 

Aster Wrote: I am the wrong person to ask. I'm currently 'revising' a rough draft as I post, and... um... it's about 95% new content at this point. :-3 I've gone so far off the original draft rails only the broadest interpretation would consider them the same story. (Chapter 15 in original draft equals... chapter 45 and still not to chapter 16 yet in revision.) :-3


I'm also slightly concerned the rewrite will go off the rails, since I'm about one-third to halfway done Book II. If I have to rewrite everything from the bottom up I will die. My fingers will fall off. My hair will fall out. I will get carpal tunnel syndrome. Death. Keyboard death. DEATH. 

(Send help.)

B.A. Wrote:
Brian Wrote: I would say I am biased, because I am doing exactly that right now, for my 13th chapter as well.

So I like the idea :)


This, but I rewrote everything

Currently halfway through
DrakanSigh

See, this is what I'm saying! I might have to rewrite everything, but then I'll just die. (How's this working out for you in terms of time management?)


Thanks to everyone who responded! 

Re: Badly tempted to do a major rewrite from chapter 13 onwards. Good idea, bad idea?

#7

B.A. Wrote: I work 4x12hr days with 4 days off (actually 3.5 and 4.5 because i alternate days/nights). I can spend an entire day off just editing if I want to.

I've actually been off work since the 22nd (site is shut down, I'm using last minute vacation time until I go back on the 1st) and I've used that time to completely rewrite episode 01 (about 70k words). I'm on episode 02, chapter 02 right now. Though I'm probably going to spend the rest of the night line editing all 70k words of episode 01 since I apparently missed a lot of typos :'(


12 hour work days? Yikes!  PeoSleep

I definitely will not be able to write or edit all day come January. Probably just on my days off, which will be one or two per week, but I am also a full-time grad student so this will be really hard.  peodead 


B.A. Wrote: New content... oh god.


I feel your pain.  peolaughing

Thanks for the detailed response. I appreciate it. 

Re: Badly tempted to do a major rewrite from chapter 13 onwards. Good idea, bad idea?

#8
Honestly, the whole "will-they-won't-they" thing is... annoying? I kind of hate it. I'd much rather read about two adults in a good, healthy relationship saving the world than a story about two adults who can't have a mature conversation about their feelings saving the world. Y'no? Especially when the story is set up so that their eventual relationship is a given from the first chapter.
As far as rewriting in general, I always say wait until you're done. That way (like you said) you'll know how your audience feels. And you'll have had that much more practice writing, so you'll be that much better at writing in general. Plus, you'll have a completed novel. Having a complete novel is always a good feeling, even if it's a piece of crap that you're going to burn as soon as your second draft is done.

Re: Badly tempted to do a major rewrite from chapter 13 onwards. Good idea, bad idea?

#9

Mad Wrote: Honestly, the whole "will-they-won't-they" thing is... annoying? I kind of hate it. I'd much rather read about two adults in a good, healthy relationship saving the world than a story about two adults who can't have a mature conversation about their feelings saving the world. Y'no? Especially when the story is set up so that their eventual relationship is a given from the first chapter.
As far as rewriting in general, I always say wait until you're done. That way (like you said) you'll know how your audience feels. And you'll have had that much more practice writing, so you'll be that much better at writing in general. Plus, you'll have a completed novel. Having a complete novel is always a good feeling, even if it's a piece of crap that you're going to burn as soon as your second draft is done.


Ah, thank you. Yes, I was also thinking this--as far as character-work goes, the will-they/won't-they is...weird. 

I wouldn't necessarily characterize their relationship as healthy though (and there is no world-saving involved. They're not very ambitious, those two.)

I like the cut of your jib! Yes, I was also thinking that once I finish all 3 books, I'm going to inevitable end up in a huge, huge, huge rewrite anyway--so why futz with it now? 

I like to have all my ducks in a row, too. Planning takes me forever. Writing takes me forever. Changing it on the fly gives me heart palpations.  peolaughing

Re: Badly tempted to do a major rewrite from chapter 13 onwards. Good idea, bad idea?

#11

Paradoxcloud Wrote: Depends on what the focus of the book actually is, if it’s not a romance then you have a lot of wiggle room to make the relationship flow however you desire. If it is the focus however, neglecting any plot point on equal or lower levels, then you probably should go for the rewrite.


I've got some genre confusion going on here. I thought initially that it was a romance, but apparently this is pretty strict so you can only classify it this way if it's got a HEA or HFN. Book I definitely ends on a hope note, but uhhhhhh...*shoves the tragedy tag under the rug*

SO now I'm wondering if it is even a romance (or is it more accurately a drama?)

How would I distinguish the genre if the romantic relationship is the central driver of the plot, but there's no HEA? 

(On the other hand, I guess there's probably an argument to be made here about writing whatever I, the author, wants. I guess I could. But would anyone who's not me read it? Therein lies the rub!)

Re: Badly tempted to do a major rewrite from chapter 13 onwards. Good idea, bad idea?

#12
If you’re referring to a happily ever after that’s not a necessity, the development of the relationship however would be. You can’t realistically portray two strangers meeting and becoming lovers that seem like they’ve been together for a decade. That’s the limitation, if however the romance isn’t the focus you can just allude to prior history or just handwave it away.