The task that I set myself was to rewrite my novel bearing in mind the advice I'd received from my manuscript assessment. This meant re-engineering some existing chapters, scrapping others and creating some completely new ones.
The patching together of all of these has been a challenge. I've removed a lot of bit-part characters, reduced the number of villains, given one of my favourite characters a larger role, and I've cut the point of view down to two characters. I've also made my main protagonist, Steve Haven, much more pro active which has felt good.
One of the more emotional choices has been to remove an important character. She was someone I identified with greatly but she was superfluous to what was needed. She's not gone forever though because removing her from book one has created the chance to bring her in later in the trilogy in a big reveal.
Although I didn't change the ending (more of that re-engineering I mentioned), I did alter the wrap up chapter that comes after the explosive climax, and in so doing, I accidentally came across a brilliant way to start the next book in the trilogy. Result!
I'm not at the finish line yet though. The next stage is to polish the novel to the be the best it can be. After that, I have another process to put it through (more about that in a later post). Overall, I'm delighted with the altered story. It's not perfect but it's greatly improved and it works so much better now. I can also envision the way forward for the rest of the trilogy.
So there you have it. It's been a productive few weeks and there's more to come. "Onwards!" as Hartley would say.