06/08/2013

THE SMITH GIRLS - another re-write!

It's been a while since I blogged about writing, mainly because I've been too busy actually doing it.
A month ago I finished a rewrite of my novel Helter-Skelter and re-submitted it to an agent. Waiting to hear whether I've cracked it this time is torture, and I have been too nervous to do more than faff.
Well, that's not quite true - I wrote a 200 word story for an online competition run by Writing Magazine's Talkback forum and was a runner-up, and I also wrote a humerous poem for the same competition.
I had a short story accepted by an online site http://alfiedog.com/ - my story should be published in September - and I've expanded the 200 word story into a longer one, so I've not been completely idle.
I still haven't heard about H-S (I'm hoping no news is good news) but now I am settling down to the next big challenge - a total rewrite of the sequel to Helter-Skelter.

Just reading my chapter summaries from when I wrote it two years ago has highlighted a problem - I need to shift the emphasis. In the original I was still focusing on Albie Smith, the MC in H-S, but the sequel begins twelve years later and Albie is now a family man. I had spread the story too thinly over Albie, his wife and their children, which resulted in the book lacking a central thread.

I gave up attempting a rewrite after the first chapter and had a rethink, lying awake for several nights. Then Mandy and I had a brain-storming session over a coffee which produced several ideas but nothing concrete, especially as every time I suggested dropping a character she cried, "Oh you can't do that - I like him/her!"
But now I have finally worked it out and I'm all excited about it again. Without losing sight of Albie and the rest of his family, the main focus is going to be on his two daughters.
They are in their very early teens, one dark, one fair, sometimes the best of friends, at others sworn enemies.
Hence the working title of my current project:
  The Smith Girls

7 comments:

  1. Liz, re-writing and re-jigging is really hard work, isn't it? I'm in the same position, and it's really aggravating to have to shift something that's really okay to fit in something that should have been there to begin with. Best of luck with The Smith Girls! And keep up with all the other writing too - you're on a roll there!
    Lorraine

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  2. Wow, to say you have not been idle is an understatement. Good for you for keeping busy and staying productive. It really is the best remedy for waiting. Good luck with the sequel and I hope you get good news from the agent (and soon!)

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  3. Thank you both, Lorraine and Ruth.

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  4. Being away from a piece of writing for a length of time allows you to look at it in a new way. And gain new insights like you have with the Smith Girls.

    Fingers crossed for positive news from the agent.

    And you forgot the Writing Magazine mention...:-)

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  5. If you're excited about the project again that suggests you're going in the right direction.

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  6. Good luck, Liz. Waiting is definitely the hardest part of this writing game.

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  7. The Smith Girls - I love it! Ideas started springing from my head immediately. I think you're on to a winner.

    Hope the agent's response is a good one.

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