Friday, June 19, 2015


I am rewriting SEAMS LIKE MURDER now. My first step is to go through the whole manuscript. I always say I’m just going to read it through without changing anything, just to see how it flows. But I never seem to be able to do that. I can’t keep my hands off a pencil and start scribbling notes on yellow legal sheets, index cards and on the pages themselves.

Reading it this first time is always nerve wracking because I am going to see if it makes any sense and there always this fear that it won’t. I am relieved to say that for the most part it seems okay, but I need to add things and move other things around.

While writing this draft there were moments when I felt panicky. Like what I was writing was going nowhere. That it didn’t make sense. That as my editor would say, it didn’t track. I worried that I might have written myself in a corner I couldn’t get out of. It’s not until I read it over that I have any sense of what it is. It is both exciting and terrifying to do this read through.

Even though I started with a synopsis, there are surprises along the way. Characters who take the reins and do things even I didn’t expect. I know that sounds a little crazy, but that’s really what it’s like. Molly has a dilemma I never saw coming.

And now I begin the daunting task of actually doing the writing. As usual, I don’t have much time, but at least I know that I will be able to finish it. That it will be a complete book with a beginning, a middle that hopefully doesn’t sag, and an ending where the guilty will get caught.

And once I do that I will start all over again with the next Yarn Retreat Mystery.


Planner said...

I think we all need to write a book to appreciate the process and understand what it feels like, especially when it's under a short deadline. Your books always seem like they just flowed from your pen effortlessly with no rewriting. I guess that's the ultimate goal, and you do it so very well.

I look forward to all of your new books!

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, I'm glad it looks that way

Monica Ferris said...

I see you posted that at 3:30 in the morning! I hope you went back to bed - or went to bed and slept in.

I know very well that feeling that one (or more) of the characters has stepped up and taken over. I find that it's best to just allow it to happen.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Your process sounds similar to mine, Betty--and so do your concerns!

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, I think the time it showed was east coast time. It was more like 12:30 here. I agree. When my characters seem to know what they are doing, I let them go ahead.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I have collected all my notes and started the actual rewrite. Now I have a picture in my mind of how the story should go which makes it easier.