February 20, 2010KR BlogKRWriting

This Year I Rewrite My Novel

“You have spent three months or more getting down the words“.Now that you have come to the end of the book, you are ready to write it.”

Based on the title of the Walter Mosley book, This Year You Write Your Novel, you would spend 3 months writing a first draft and 9 months revising.

Now, let’s do the math (keeping in mind that I majored in English):

3 months / 9 months = 1 / 3

So, let’s just say a certain writer (um, myself) has taken four years to write the first draft of a novel; then, the revision should take:

48 months / x = 1/ 3
x = 48 (3) = 144 months = 12 years!

Now, let’s just say that you are someone like me, AKA Not Walter Mosley, who publishes on average about four books per year, and, BTW, is not only brilliant but also understands the power of an excellent hat. What if you are a recent graduate of a MFA program, a little burnt-out to be quite frank, working a desk job, training your small dog not to jump up on people, and trying to enjoy life because you’ve “only just begun?”

What if you are me?

If you are me, the opposite of Walter Mosley (prolific, brilliant, well-dressed), you will be allowed as I allow myself to do the opposite of the above equation or:

48 / x = 3/1
3x = 48
x = 16 months!

Based on the math and my own personal interest in this, I have concluded that this is acceptable and perfectly-humane.

But where does one begin?

So“I’ve decided to follow the Walter Mosley REVISION ACTION PLAN (but on a mostly-INVERSE TIME SCALE)! According to Mosley, the first thing you do once you’ve finished the first draft is get to the second one (no days off). Reread the novel and once you have done this you have completed your second draft.

Can I do this? Stay tuned for my next blog entry. And if I don’t show up, you know I’ve finally run off to Mexico to teach English!

I can’t rely on gestation periods and tinkering forever.

Without revision, it’s like Waiting for Godot. Except it’s not nearly as funny.