Tenth Time of Trying

About ten years ago, I wrote a book. I was quite happy with the plot and the characters. I liked the way the story developed. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t a very good book.

I rewrote it, and then rewrote again, then left it again, because I wasn’t quite sure what I could do to improve it.

I took a writing class, and then rewrote it again, using what I had learned the class. It still wasn’t right.

I learnt to write short stories, and read a few books on writing, and all that time I kept rewriting the book. Every time I learnt something new (or discovered something new) about writing, I rewrote the book.

In that time, the plot never changed. The basic tenets of the story never changed. The characters never really changed, except that I learnt how to express their complexity. All that really changed was the style.

There were always parts of the story I really liked, but I could never get the rest of the tale up to the same standard. But the more I wrote and rewrote, the more tiny sections of the book I began to really like.

It was like I had a huge lump of rock, and bit by bit, I was honing and polishing and sharpening and refining it to reveal what I hoped was a gemstone at the centre.

This last year is the first time I’ve written with an editor. I’ve learnt a lot – my writing improved dramatically just in that one year. So this year, I shall rewrite the book again, using what I’ve learned the past year.

I hope I’ve learnt what I need now. This will be my tenth rewrite. I hope – I think – that now I have the tools to make my story shine. I hope that this time, the book will finally be ready for publication.

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