Getting To The Heart Through Revision

As my working relationship with my agent comes to an end I find myself inspired to completely re-write my novel that just spent close to a year on editor submission. The theme of the story is fading out of popularity and much of the feedback I received from editors said they would have bought it if it wasn't about that theme. I received a lot of really positive comments saying how much they loved the writing and enjoyed the story.

Before I decided on this massive re-write I had to look deep into the heart of my story to make sure I didn't compromise it or give it up. I'm a firm believer that you should never edit the heart out of your story, especially not for the sake of a sale. So I took a close, honest look at it and admitted to myself what it was really about and what mattered to the characters and story. What I came up with was eye-opening and inspiring.

The rewrite will be completely different and yet very similar in many ways. The main theme will change but the underlying ones, the heart that keeps the novel alive, will not. In fact, it's going to be better. My characters will be more fully developed, the main plot will be deeper and have more meaning, as will the subplots and supporting characters. I'm so excited that I'm already about a third of the way through the re-write!

Looking for more advice on revision? Check out this guest post by YA author Kristina McBride on Chuck Sambuchino's blog.


  1. The market is constantly changing and while we can't write to it, we can't ignore it either. It takes courage to stand back and look at our ms objectively at any time, let alone after it's been on submission. But the excitement in your post is palpable and infectious. There's no doubt your re-write will soar!

  2. That's a tough row to hoe, but you're very brave in looking into your heart and knowing just what to do. I think this shows the maturaty of a writer.

    Sounds like you've got a great start on it. Good luck!

  3. Thank you so much VR! This re-vision of my manuscript feels so right. It's going to be a completely different story when I'm done!

  4. It is tough Lorelei, thank you! But a writer is in my soul so I can't stop or give up.

  5. Thanks Melissa, I'll take all the good luck I can get. Thanks for following too! I stopped by your blog and loved it so much I followed you back!

  6. This is a powerful decision, Heather! Sounds like you've just made a great leap to a new depth that will shine in your rewrite. This is gonna be excellent!

  7. Heather, you're on the top of a short list of writers I'd like to be when I grow up, so I have no doubt you're taking an awesome story and seeing a new potential. I'm excited by your energy--it keeps me going.

    Thanks for sharing your vision and inspiration with us!


  8. Thank you Linda. It feels less like a re-write and more like a re-vision, or perhaps recycling. I'm taking what I love about the novel and am changing everything else. It will completely different and so much better!

  9. Aw Portia thank you, how sweet! I'm so glad my energy inspires you. Just wait until you see what I'm doing with the story! I'll be posting a teaser when I'm done with the re-vision/re-write.


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