The good news is that the rewrite of my novel’s opening is now completely finished bar a tiny bit of tightening, and the even better news is that it has met with a really positive reaction by those who have read it so far. I’m pretty happy with it, too – I’ve addressed the problems with the previous version and I believe I’ve solved them in a way that makes the story stronger. I also think that I’ve written it with a fair bit of flair. It’s not the typical opening you’d expect of a thriller, and that in itself is interesting, at least for me.
The bad news is that converting the remainder of the novel into the present tense is a long, hard slog. I’m trying to change three chapters a night, but I know that some bits are coming up which will need to be completely rewritten for continuity purposes, due to various story and character points that I’ve re-thought for my new opening. I have to keep all these changes in my head, and remember exactly what I need to amend and when. It’s a bit of a head-fuck, to be honest. And just changing the tense and sorting out the continuity isn’t the end of it. When I’ve finished I’m going to do another quick pass, to add more of the stuff that really works in the new opening throughout the rest of the novel. The present tense allows more funny “inside the head” character stuff to be in there naturally without it seeming out of place, you see, and it’s really fun to write those little asides.
I’ll soon be making the literary agent rounds again, starting off with my near-misses from the last time around. What I wouldn’t give for some early success so that I can start to properly sort out the next novel. While this change of tense has definitely reinvigorated my love for Certainty, and is making this rewrite enjoyable to do, I’m still very conscious that I need to be writing something else as soon as possible. I know what that thing is going to be. I don’t know how to do it yet. But I’ll figure it out.