Rewriting Books


Someone asked me this summer, why I would rewrite an entire book instead of just revise it… Tortured Dreams highlights the reasons for rewriting. When you make major revisions to a book you have to be incredibly careful. It takes a great deal of time and concentration and massive amounts of planning, plotting, and making sure you stick to those things.

I rewrote Innocent Dreams this summer, because what I had could not be reshaped without being totally scraped and started over. It was a luxury I had because I hadn’t published the book. I do not have that ability with Tortured Dreams; it must be revised not rewritten.

This means I have to pay close attention because what happens in chapter 5 of the original might make what happens in the revised chapter 18 obsolete. And vice versa… The rewritten sections of chapter 18 or 19 must still be contiguous of chapter 5 which had far fewer revisions made to it. Whereas if I just start a book over whatever happens in chapters 5 or 18 will be connected because they flowed from the same original idea.

Oddly, one of the things that has always bothered me about Tortured Dreams is the cost. Not once does Ace or Xavier or Lucas or even Gabriel comment about all the money the killer is spending to commit murder. High quality torture devices as described in the book would not be cheap. Why isn’t that a bigger issue? The average serial killer is rather thrifty about their hobby… they don’t spend big bucks on knives or guns, they use what they have on hand.

As the creator of the book; I have always looked back and realized I missed two big points… A) the killer in Tortured has a great deal of money at their disposal and B) why didn’t this elaborate and extravagant behavior raise any flags for Lucas… which brings up a third: why are some of the kills incredibly extravagant on all fronts while others are borderline mundane making them appear less important?

These are some of the things I hope to address in the revision. It’s going well. But I admit that to deal with these three things, I’ve had to do some intensive and expansive rewrites to sections. And now, back to work…

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