The whispering begins somewhere unseen, faint but tangible like the sound of leaves dropping in the slow autumn wind. - Opening line from my Goblin Market manuscript.
After months of reworking a manuscript that I had first attempted more than two years ago, this past weekend I finally completed my second draft. Three years is certainly the longest space of time between first and second drafts that I've ever experienced. Given the time that had gone by, the rewrites were extensive.
A story cannot stay the unchanged when the storyteller continues to grow and learn. This is one of the hardest parts of trying to "finish" a project, because every time you look at it, you are seeing it through different eyes. In this case, the view was extraordinarily different. Thankfully the base structure of the tale was inspired from source material, otherwise I probably would scrapped the whole thing after a three year layoff.
Though the plot changed, quite drastically in some places, it was the tone that I concentrated on altering. Sometimes that can be an even harder process. Seeing as how I tend to scrutinize every sentence, phrase, and word, changing the tone through the course of an entire novel can get a little exhausting. But alas, I made it the end. Now I just have to read through it and make sure I've achieved what I set out to do.