When I finish Island Girl in two weeks, I hope to be able to send the draft in, but I assume I will probably still be working on edits for a while. There are lots of little things to watch out for: character development, character mannerisms, making sure everyone's story is resolved by the end, improving the world-building, etc. That's the problem that comes with writing a story with lots of characters. Island Girl has lots of them.

This second draft counts as an edit (and the one that won a full request from an agent, one third of the way through -yeah!). I've resurrected certain characters from the dead. As a romance writer, I believe in happy endings for everyone, especially the hero and heroine. During the revision process, I discovered that my work should not have been categorized as romance in the first place, because the heroine doesn't meet the hero in the opening chapter. (The standard rules of romance novels require them to meet in the opening pages.) The heroine goes to bed with the wrong guy, which many women can relate to. Island Girl would be categorized as commercial fiction with strong elements of romance. Commercial fiction allows for more creativity and fewer rules, as opposed to other genres. I suppose it's better to categorize my work as commercial fiction, which would appeal to a wider audience.

During my rewrite, I learn more about the stories these characters have to tell, and I learn more about their history and personality. It was hard to come to terms with having to do a rewrite because I had poured out my heart and soul and beat my brains out on the first draft, but rewrites are absolutely necessary for making any story better. I just have to pour out my heart and soul and beat my brains out again, and pray this turns into gold.


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