Cut and Polish

Pie crust Promise (“easily made easily broken”) coming up:

I need to avoid printing out my novel until I’ve got it completed in rough-draft form.

As-is I’ve got some major parts left to finish writing, but printed it anyway. Since printing I’ve had two *major* mental revisions and clarifications.

  • Among them
    • Changing the identity of a major character
    • Eliminating a formerly major character that the previous change overlapped (Tanith, mentioned in my song post)
    • Clearly dentified the three main story lines I’m weaving together
    • Discovered my main POV character. So. cool.

So with all of this, do you think I’m ready to line-edit what I’ve got printed out? No!

I’m doing the work of weaving the life of the new discoveries into the sense of the established order.

And it won’t really do just to say “keep the chapters that don’t get changed.”

One of the intimidating-but-exciting changes that is happening this round is more scene-cuts and interlacing (the “braid,” CAC calls it; “writing for suspense,” Stein calls it).

This work both disrupts the established order and makes very clear what sections are useful and which have no value.

I’ve only done this for one section so far, but reading the result gave me goosebumps.

I used to be embarrassed to admit my own writing can affect me this way. It sounds very unsophisticated and self-exalting.

But at the writing conference I went to in October one of the editors basically said we need to be affected by what we write, because if we aren’t, what makes us think anyone else will be interested.

Anyway, I’m excited to have again a clear “next step.”

This time I’m planning just to write as I go, rather than trying to outline to the end.

For one thing, I’ve done that twice already, and know the process saps so much of my creative life I have no “oomph” left for actual creating of story.

And for another thing, I think it’s negatively invoking this principle. I no longer feel the need to tell once I’ve told all.

I mentioned last week how helpful it was to have Jay (in particular) to bounce things off of, but that was for twists and concepts that were half-formed and needed airing for clarity.

The current idea (and I’m nearly giddy about it– though I don’t yet know where it’ll ultimately go) dropped fully formed into my mind.

I told Jay I wouldn’t tell him this one, because I want his unprepped reaction when he discovers it.

Now if I could just find where it belongs…

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