The short answer: Yes, I do.
The long answer: Yes, I do, and then I remember how freaking hard it was to rewrite Transparent. If you didn't know, I spent the majority of last year completely re-imagining, re-plotting, and re-writing that book. My agent didn't like it—yes, it happens and it's hard but you get over it because they're right—and I had to make the decision to either put it away or redo it all.
It was a hard decision! It took me about a month to decide. I would essentially be throwing away a year's worth of work. This was NOT an oh-I-can-save-a-lot-of-this kind of situation. I am talking blank document, starting all the way over, I might be lucky if 3% of what I wrote makes it into this version kind of rewrite.
That is not an easy thing, and sometimes I still can't believe I made the choice to do it. And I especially can't believe I finished it. Again. Of everything I've been through on this writing journey, that was, by far, the hardest thing I've done. First, having to admit that I botched the story—botched it so badly that I had to toss most everything. Then having to wade through the mess and figure out what the real story was. Then having to actually type it all out, not knowing if any of it would be worth it.
It was mentally and emotionally exhausting. And I took it on at a time that was already stressful—during my first time on submission. But I made it through, and I am proud of the work I did and how the story turned out. Though sometimes I get stressed just thinking about that book, it is better. I know that.
And because I know that, I can't ignore the potential of a full rewrite, despite how difficult it is.
Things To Consider Before Rewriting
The thing is, you can't just rewrite every idea you've ever had. Well, you could, but you know what I mean. I have a ton of old books, and I have thought of going back to some of them now that I have more skill. I know where I failed them. I know how I could make those ideas shine. But I also know it would be freaking hard.
The pros have to outweigh the cons when you're thinking about embarking on a rewrite. Honestly, it's much easier to write a fresh idea than to battle a full rewrite that will be difficult and, well, pure, boring work much of the time.
The idea has to have particular merit, something about it that you think is worth the work. Maybe it's super marketable, or the hook is unique, or, like me, your agent believes in the elements of the story and wants to sell it.
But more than that, you also have to love the story. I'm not talking regular love, either. I'm talking, passionate, devoted, undying obsession. I'm talking love that would make Edward and Bella's look normal. You have to love this story enough to suffer. I know that sounds awful, but if you've ever done a full rewrite you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Sometimes, okay, most of the time, that stubborn love will be the only thing that keeps you working. You'll hate everything about it, but somewhere in there you also know you love the story and it deserves to be told properly. I know, it's totally messed up and crazy.
Of all my stories, I have maybe two besides Transparent that I could put in that category. I do think about rewriting them someday, but I have a feeling it won't be anytime soon. I'm still recovering from the last rewrite.
So if you are thinking about redoing a novel, really think about it. And if you decide to embark on the rather unpleasant journey, I wish you luck and perseverance.
It is worth it. Barely;P