IWSG—Looking ahead to radical revisions and restructurings


It’s time once again for the monthly meeting of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

I’ve got so many writing and editing projects in my queue for after I finish my massive WIP. First on my list are doing some significant reworking on the first and third books in my Max’s House series and finally starting to transcribe Cinnimin.

The first Max book should be straightforward enough, just a matter of taking out the clutter at this point and expanding some scenes. The third book will be a bit more difficult, since it’ll require taking out an entire storyline and either replacing it with something new or just writing around it with what already exists. At this point, I don’t even want to think about the big restructuring and edits needed for the sixth book, or reconstructing the long-lost second book from scratch, memory, and the 15 or so pages I printed out long ago.

Until sometime in Saga III (the Sixties) of Cinnimin, there isn’t a whole lot of historical flavoring, and there are a lot of unintentional anachronisms. Cassette tapes, birth control pills, home pregnancy tests, portable stereos/boomboxes, satellite tv, social acceptability of multiple ear piercings, so much ridiculous nonsense. Hey, I was only 13-15 when I wrote Saga I, 15-16 for Saga II, and 16-17 for Saga III. At least the historical accuracy got much better as I got older.

So much of books 4-6 of Max’s House have material that’s much better-suited to Cinni’s story. There’s too much focus on Cinni and Levon’s developing friendship and romance, not enough focus on Max and his family, and the secondary storylines with Kit’s family. I’m going to have to figure out which sections go where.

I’ll be combining most of the Parts of Saga I, so that the story is split into the war years and the early postwar years. This means writing this new Part II essentially from scratch. All I have to go on are the events glossed over in the Epilogue and the worthwhile material in the shelved WTCOAC books.

As an adult, I cringe at how stupid and mean Cinni and Violet come across in Saga I. This just doesn’t match with how they were depicted in the 4 introductory books or how they developed afterwards. Plus, there’s no real reason given for why they’re so vapid, thoughtless, mean, snobby, etc. They’re so mean to their sitting charges Donna and Sheri, while showing extreme favoritism to middle child Freddie. Some of their behavior towards Donna in particular is just jaw-dropping in its cruelty and immaturity!

Still, 19 years later, I still get a kick out of Cinni and Violet’s pathetic last-minute homework before the winter break ends. My favorite parts are their health project, “Why Smoking Is Good for Ya,” with a pack of cigarettes glued to the board, and  Violet’s one-sentence report on The David, “Our statue gots what it takes.” They are, after all, only in 5th grade.

Next month, the issues (and they are perhaps even more numerous!) with Saga II (the Fifties) will be discussed.

The best part of a radical rewriting and restructuring is completing it and marveling at the fruits of your hard work!


12 thoughts on “IWSG—Looking ahead to radical revisions and restructurings

  1. I love that feeling, even though it can be overwhelming at times, of having lots of projects line up. I do better with that than when I’m staring at a blank to-do list.


  2. Looks like you have a VERY productive summer ahead! I am sure that the pieces will fall into place as you continue writing and revising. They always do, somehow! You started writing the saga at such a young age! That’s fantastic. Have you found that the story evolved as you got older and older? I have one WIP that I’ll be starting later this year that came from an idea I had at age 13. I never got around to writing it, but I think now that I am older, I’ll be able to express it and execute it better.


    • The story definitely improved as I got older, along with my writing capabilities. If I hadn’t become an Armenophile at age 15 and created Cinnimin’s love interest Levon, the story probably never would’ve gone anywhere. That finally gave the story, and Cinni’s character, a real hook.


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