Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rewriting! Rewriting!

I wonder if I'm weird or if other writers are like me. I can't just start writing, go to the end, and then worry about going back and shaping things up. I'm writing mysteries, for heaven's sake. Everything has got to fit all along the way. Every clue has to fall in a certain place. Every important discovery has to be foreshadowed. As I write, I get interesting ideas additional to my outline, and I write them in, but then I have to go way back to the beginning and rewrite in order to foreshadow and to make sure the logic is consistent. If, for instance, I suddenly decide it would be cool if a villain had a missing trigger finger, then he must have a missing trigger finger in all preceding chapters. And if, in those preceding chapters, I have to give him a different weapon because of the problem with the finger, then I have to go back and change the weapon. And if, while changing the weapon, I get a great idea about a physical habit he develops because of the particular weapon, then I have to go back and forwards and add in the interesting part about the habit. If I don't take care of it at the time, things get all mixed up. I often tell people that my books don't get longer, they get fatter.

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