Finished the Sleeping Beauty Rewrite

Thought you’d all want to know :-)

Last Wednesday I took the day off work and pretended I was a full-time writer for the day, and by the end of it I had finished the sleeping beauty retelling.


Quick recap of the timeline here:

  1. Inspiration for idea in September 2010
  2. First draft finished in June 2011
  3. On Submissions August 2011
  4. Decided not to pursue a second round of Submissions in December 2011 in order to revise based on editorial feedback.
  5. October 2012 finished rewrite

Now, some of you may be thinking, ‘Submissions?? Whaaa?’ That’s because I was being all sneaky and not telling you about it. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Or something.

(Actually there are real and understandable reasons why writers don’t talk about being on submissions to editors. You don’t want to hype everyone up for no payoff, you don’t want editors to know how long you’ve been on subs or what round, etc. I just don’t really hold with all this secrecy anymore.)

Going on submissions was actually really great. I got to tell my friends at the LTWF Writer’s retreat in Florida, which was super special. There was screaming. When I was on submissions with Nameless I didn’t understand the significance of what was happening, but now I did. Oh boy, did I.

I’ll be honest, readers: We came close. There was some in-house conflict at a few places, and some other people had concerns about the middle bit. I decided I wanted to poke at the story a bit more before doing round 2, because I had an idea to make it better.

This turned into a full-fledged rewrite as I realized the editors were right and the middle did need a huge overhaul, which revealed a subplot that affected the whole book from beginning to end and gave a lot of the characters tons more depth. So that happened.

It was a really humbling, eye-opening experience, actually. It taught me a lot about brainstorming and how I will definitely not do another project until I have the whole plot set up. It really showed me how pale the first draft was in comparison to this rewritten draft. The story is deeper now; more fleshed out.

I’m very, very proud.

Or I was, until I actually sent the story to critique partners. I’m working with people I haven’t worked with before, because my standard CPs all have their own book deals and are very busy :-) And readers, I’m scared.

What is it about sending a book off to be read that immediately makes you realize every single flaw with it, and every single thought you had a few months ago to improve something but forgot until right now?

You start to get debilitating thoughts like, ‘I know I’m not a bad writer, but what if this is just mediocre? What if I’m a mediocre writer?! What if they hate it? What if no one likes my main character? What if I’ve put all my readers and friends through years of anticipation and it’s just a sprawling mess?’

Then one CP starts getting back to you with notes and you think ‘WHYYYY didn’t I wait and send this to one CP at a time?!!!?!’. Answer: Because your impatience made you forget the lesson you learned last time.

And then you realize that your CP has made wonderful notes and you are filled with SO many ideas for things to tweak and expand upon that will eliminate all those doubts you had, because the story is pretty good, and your MC is pretty likeable even if at times she over-analyzes, because you can fix that, too!

And you keep repeating to yourself another lesson you’ve learned, that criticism hurts at first, but soon the excitement replaces that because anything that makes your manuscript better makes you happier.

So here’s the plan:

Once I get all my feedback, I will implement changes as I see fit. Then the manuscript will go to my agent, and there will probably be more changes at her behest. Then we will go on submissions again. Then the book will sell (I know it will), and then you can read it.

In the meantime, I wish I could tell you about the stuff I overhauled, but I’m afraid it wouldn’t make sense since I only shared scenes from the beginning of the story before the main plot was established. But I will confess that the original ms was 70k and this one is, err, *cough*, 100k.

Let me also just say I think it’s the best book I’ve ever written, better than Nameless. I’m taking a breather but when I turn in the project I’m excited to get to work on Book 2.

I’ll update you as we go :-)

<3, Savannah

7 thoughts on “Finished the Sleeping Beauty Rewrite

  1. Loie says:

    Hey :)

    I haven’t commented before but just wanted to say I love your blog posts about the writing life and the updates on your WIP. The new story sounds sooooo good and I definitely will be getting it when its out on bookshelves haha!

    Just wanted to say how reading this blog among others has helped in encouraging me to continue to write and get better. During first year at uni I lost the drive to write – doubt, insecurity etc- but then this past May I decided I wanted to get back to writing , it’s something I love to do and anything you’re going to do in life is going to require hard work – well anything you want to do well at. That’s me haha :)

    So, CONGRATS on finishing!!!
    BTW are you participating in Nanowrimo? I am for the first time and am so excited!

    • Savannah Foley says:

      Hi Loie,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’m glad to hear that something I put out into the internet void was able to inspire someone :-)

      It’s so great to hear that you’re back writing again. I’ve gone through those down periods myself and they absolutely suck. So glad for you that your writing spirit is coming back around!

      I haven’t decided if I’m doing NaNo this year… I wish I were a few weeks ahead of myself, because I need to edit ACORAS and finish planning out book 2, but at the same time I love NaNo and I really want to be working on Book 2. So we’ll see :-)

      Best of luck to you next month! Try to go to your local events if you have them — they are awesome and so inspiring!

      • Loie says:

        That’s really exciting about ACORAS and edits!! You must be so happy :)

        For a future blog post, could you maybe talk about your process of research and outlining before your next book? Like how detailed your outlines are and so on?

        This is my first time using an outline for a book and I find it is helpful seeing as it will hopefully be part of a trilogy, I can introduce some ideas/themes that will be continued in the following two books.

        Yes, I’m going to be attending the kick-off event in my city haha and its SO out of my comfort zone because I’ll be alone meeting all these new people but on the other hand, I’m sort of excited for exactly that reason, just going for it and getting outside the box :)

        Whoop well if you do intend to do NANO add me as a buddy if you’d like :) my name is laurbor (horrible grade five nickname that I’ve sort of stuck with gah )


        • Savannah Foley says:

          I added you on NaNo!

          I like laurbor. It’s like l’arbor, lol.

          I’ll start getting something together on my process. Basically I write summaries in varying level of detail, and then end up throwing out most of it halfway through. ;-)

  2. Sammi says:

    I know it will sell, too. I know this because you’ve only posted the tiniest little tidbit of this story, and I STILL find myself daydreaming about it. All.The.Time. And I always think of it when Florence and the Machine’s “Blniding” <3 <3 <3

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