For National Novel Writing Month I've decided to rewrite an old novel instead of editing or writing something new. I had to think about this decision for months and I thought talking about it might help other writers come to a quicker decision.
The biggest reason was my growth as a writer. I originally wrote this book two years ago as when I had just started to look at writing seriously. Since then I have written half a million new words, taken classes, read new books, and had new experiences. These have noticeably changed my writing style. It would take just as long, if not longer, to edit this novel than to rewrite it at the quality I can naturally achieve at this point in my career.
The second reason was my decision to change the book from first person to third person. This is turn would have made editing take a long time with too much focus on language and not enough focus on character development.
Third was my decision to add my villain, or at least paperwork related to my villain, into the book. Adding these files while editing or rewriting doesn't change the amount of time it'll take. They will change how much the reader understands about the story and, I'm hoping, drastically ramp up the tension. This means a change to the pacing, which is always a hard thing for a writer to pin point, and I think a rewrite is the best way to try to get this done properly.
Lastly were a couple of specific details that related to me pantsing this novel. I wrote in in first person, out of order, while barely knowing my characters. A radical rewrite will allow me to write in third person, in order, with proper character arcs, while leaving better clues.
Have you made the decision to rewrite instead of edit? If so what were your motivations?
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