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Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Rewrites

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on April 1, 2011

First, congratulations to Sherry Gloag who has won my blog commenters contest for March! Please keep watch on my contest page for new chances to win.

It’s taken me two days to rewrite chapter six in my WIP. Why so long?

I’m adding new material based on a plot thread I’ve added since I started the book. This relates to the sleuth’s personal background and her relationship to the victim.

I am correcting inconsistencies, as in stating one character has a son and daughter in this scene when I’ve established somewhere else that he has two daughters.

I’m filling in boating details since I attended the Palm Beach Boat Show and walked aboard some of the yachts, so now I can apply these first-hand observations to my story.

And I’m deepening two of the secondary characters because their roles will recur in sequels. Before, all I had was their eye and hair color. Now I know what they do for their day jobs and how old they are. It’s not a whole lot more but it gives me something to build on.

I’m cutting repetitions, such as the page where a woman says “Oh, no” twice.

I’m rewording lines for clarity. i.e. “People are always leaving things inside the pages that they use as bookmarks” becomes “People are always leaving things they use for bookmarks inside the pages.” It may seem trivial but I want the words to be just right.

And I am adding more to the scene between the sleuth and the victim’s husband based on the new plot thread. She asks some additional questions of the husband that are relevant now.

I’m sure when I reread through this again for my second round that I’ll find additional things to fix. Revisions never end. We send the book off to the editor/agent when we reach our deadline or when we can’t gain any perspective anymore because we’re too close to the material.

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