A report on the rewrite rewrite

I’ve barely begun on the rewriting of my novel to have a third-person narrator and  I already see how this is going to work. Basically, my rewrite of the rewrite is going to need a rewrite.

I’ve only made it through about a third of chapter one, but it went smoothly. Granted this is an introductory chapter where my original first-person narrator was providing a lot of back story, so it lended itself to third-person telling — I may have more difficult struggles in the later chapters where he is asking himself a lot of questions. Regardless, I think my worries about being able to re-imagine the story with a different story teller are mostly assuaged.

Still, I think it lacks the narrative voice I want it to have. It’s all very workmanlike, very direct but not very creative. And that is why I will rewrite the rewrite of the rewrite. Once I have the whole novel recast in third person, I’ll go through it one more time to see if I can render the voice with a bit more panache.

I like the voice I achieved in my recently published story, “Moron Saturday,” though that was intended to be comical. I don’t want that tone in this novel, but I think the voice has the right tone in that story. It gives me hope that I can do it.

I suspect it looks as though I’ll never let go of this novel, that I’ll always have some fix I want to make before I dare to submit. I don’t think that’s true, but you’d be alarmed if you heard the cacophony inside my head. That will really only be my third true rewrite. The first was to get the story down and resolve all of the plot and character issues. The second, which I’ve just begun is to recast it in the third person. And the third will be to polish it. Our craft can grind exceedingly fine sometimes.

Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, Sleep of Reason

One Comment on “A report on the rewrite rewrite”

  1. Tooty Nolan Says:

    I once read somewhere that no first person novel made a best seller. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ve written two novellas – one in the first person, and one in the third. I can’t say which one is better, but I know which one gave more pleasure to write: The first person. You can get inside the narrator’s head so much better in FP. But if it’s the plot that counts – then perhaps TP is best. Just my thoughts.

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