Once again into the fray

Life after a tour returns slowly to normal. The teetering stack of mail diminishes, those letters from readers that have been sitting, read but unanswered, since before the Edgars in April down to the last two (until the next trip to the post office box\’e2\’80\’a6), the cat taken to the vet and the fifty-seven urgent phone calls that didn\’e2\’80\’99t get made beforehand checked off.

So there\’e2\’80\’99s the rewrite, 358 nice tidy pages sitting beside a great, hulking, completely unorganized pile of notes. The villain\’e2\’80\’99s name not villainous enough, change to something that hisses (don\’e2\’80\’99t you love computers, that can do this without WiteOut everywhere and curses bistering the air?) Bring in said villain earlier, make him THERE. And what about the three\’e2\’80\’94no, four\’e2\’80\’94settings for the book, how better to use them? Look up the use of British titles, how the daughters of dukes are addressed. Find your notes on the weather for the spring of 1926.

I finally got my hands back on the rewrite on Saturday, and I\’e2\’80\’99ve been working flat out since then (it now being Wednesday morning) and I think I may have the first 20 pages more or less how I want them.

(With luck, the middle of the book may go faster.)

One of the things I often talked about on the tour was the writing-in-public project that\’e2\’80\’99s in progress on my web site, the beginnings of the short story I did as an improv and its eventual presence on the site as a proper story, with commentary on why certain choices were made in the course of the rewriting. And I would tell the audience, I\’e2\’80\’99m doing it because when a beginning writer looks at a book like THE ART OF DETECTION they often say, \’e2\’80\’9cI couldn\’e2\’80\’99t write a book like that.\’e2\’80\’9d And I have to agree, I couldn\’e2\’80\’99t either.

But I could rewrite a book like that.

Comments

  1. Thank you, again, Laurie, for sharing the “how you do it” thoughts. As a novice, I like hearing these things from successful authors.

    Kim

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh wow, just read the story in progress…a see a teen stand alone in the making…lord you do suspense well Laurie. I did not find however re-writes or hows and whys. Are they coming or posted elsewhere on the WEB?

    Oh do write it in full, pleaaaase.

    M.Diane

  3. Delayra says:

    I am the Head Coder for a MUSH (if you don’t know what a MUSH is, it’s an online text-based role-playing game that concerns itself more with role-play than whether one character can beat another in a fight) and it’s based in Time Travel. My problem is that when designing the grounds and estate for the era between 1750 and 1850, everytime I begin, I find that it morphs into Justice Hall. So, rather than continuously building the code and deleting it, I’m going to ask for permission to have our pseudo-duchy resemble Justice Hall and its environs — it won’t be exact, but the general layout will be the same. If not, I’ll muddle through somehow, and if so, I will make certain that everyone that enters the area will know that I took the idea from your writings. Thank you either way.

  4. I said exactly that to my partner last week, who wisely replied, “You’ll get there.” Thanks for affirming her wise encouragement, and thanks for always encouraging writing, generally.

  5. Just thought I’d say how much I enjoyed TAOD, was well worth the six year wait – I finally got to read it last night having been up at my uni house for the past week trying to sort out various problems, and having had problems with Amazon. Really enjoyed the story and loved the character of Nora, who reminded me slightly of my younger sister at the same age.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I just finished TAOD and was very disappointed that what I had waited for six years was not a Kate Martinelli story but a Mary Russell story. I thought I was cheated of Kate when I had to read 100 pages plus of a Mary Russell mystery within TAOD. I hope I don’t have to wait another six years to read a Kate Martinelli story.

    JMN

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