In two days, I’ve completely rewritten a little over half my story for The Black Wind’s Whispers anthology.
The original draft was poor. Very poor. It basically just got at an idea that I wanted to introduce at a distinct time period, starring a member of the London police service. The result was a slapdash affair that failed to deliver anything but clichéd drivel. The ending of it works, which is technically the important part, but what we need is a real story with plot, depth and intrigue.
So the last few days were spent rewriting it from the ground up. The general plot outline hasn’t changed much, but it has been considerably fleshed out: There have been stronger additions of legitimate police work, more backstory given to the characters and victims. Needless parts were dropped, important scenes were broken apart and enriched. There’s more showing than telling now too, much more.
Of interest is the historical research. I’ve done some digging on certain laws, applied some historic facts to the story to help it get into the 70’s. I’ve even added a very important historical figure, who has had a critical support role, and has added a fair bit of flavor to the times. Notes added by a friend, who happens to be a member of the (current) London police force has really helped bring about the authenticity of the story.
Research is the most important aspect of writing a great time piece it seems. I was bad about that before, but I’m getting better at it. Copywriting is a difficult and expensive task. But reading over the changes to my work, I suspect my editors will be more pleased.
Still, it’s not yet complete and there are three things to consider. First, the ending structure is similar but with a new scene added, changing the dynamic of an enigmatic yet helpful character. Second, the general writing of the second part must be improved. I must be in no rush to finish. Third and final, I must finish soon and leave time for a rewrite.