As I wrote in Part Two of this three-part post, I have completed a major rewrite of the in-process manuscript of Rebecca Series Book Six (still untitled). My wife Linda had declared the partial manuscript “too slow,” with too much “rehashing of A Fearful Thing,” the fifth in the series. That rewrite is finished now, and I am once again moving into completely new territory.
The new territory, after the months-long rewrite, is now built on a foundation which is much stronger and swifter than before, bringing movement and clarity to a story that was beginning to lose both. Happily, none of this revising and rewriting has felt like a waste of time, because it simply gave me an opportunity to write this book better.
An important part of the rewrite has been a re-ordering of the plot of Rebecca Six.
Some examples of this reordering include:
Rebecca, with her unique gifts, is now introduced by means of a tutorial session given by an officer with MI6, “explaining Rebecca” to a newcomer with the agency. MI6 is, as you know, the U.K.’s intelligence agency (corresponding to the CIA in the United States). In this way, the reader gets a feel for the international importance of Rebecca’s gifts, as well as the drama and intrigue that spirals out from those gifts.
In the rewritten manuscript, the upcoming Wimbledon Championships are worked into the story much later and more gradually than originally was the case. My original placement of the tennis-focused portions of the story inadvertently distorted the narrative, giving tennis itself much more importance than it actually has in the novel. The great tournament is a vehicle for deepening the plot, not in any sense the focal point of the story.
Also, as a result of the rewrite, the U.S. contingent – comprising two world renown detectives and two of their younger proteges – are brought to England early in the story to provide the English group, including Rebecca, with more on-site veteran detective resources. Their arrival alters the balance of power in the developing struggle.
And here is a sample of one plot element that remains to be fleshed out, now that the partial rewrite has been completed:
In the other five novels in the Rebecca Series, all major “good” characters have at some point been physically damaged. The V-shaped scar on the right side of Rebecca’s face – running all the way from her mouth to her ear – remains the most consistently visible reminder of this fact. At this point in the sixth novel’s development, none of the major characters have been wounded. Since the enemy in this story is clearly capable of the worst kind of violence, this author remains somewhat anxious for the safety of the “good guys” in the story.
So… that’s where we are now. I’m excited to see how this is going to play out. As I’ve noted before in these posts, I usually move into the final stages of my novels not knowing exactly how the dangers and issues will be resolved.
And as always, I look forward to finding out.