Well, patient readers, The novel has entered re-vision #3
This is (again, I suppose) very exciting to me.
I mentioned I was close to an ending, and was rightly encouraged by that proximity. The difficulty (and nearly zero-productivity) following that awareness was simply an amplification of issues I’d been having since deciding to break the story into a series of sorts.
Several people counseled me to finish it anyway, just to have the… settledness of having something totally done, and I tried to follow this advice (remember that high productivity the other night?). But even though I really liked what I wrote (when I have a lot to tell, the quality seems above average) I didn’t feel like it advanced the main story.
The original reason I was drawn to this tale (I believe I’ve mentioned at some point) was that it centered on a main character who got married part-way through the story. I loved having a story that showed a working marriage and its themes of commitment and cooperation.
By breaking the story shortly after the marriage (my original plan once I stopped thinking of this as a single book), I was thwarting my own purpose and having to add material to places that were not as important to my original goals.
This third round uses material from both the previous drafts; in fact, my “starting place” on this draft is 207 pages and 53,734 words.
Using character (rather than time) to narrow the scope has allowed me not only to use material I have already written, but to tell the whole story in one place.
There is definitely still enough story to think about a second book, but it is disconnected enough from Linnea’s story that I feel it could be it’s own book without overlapping. (It mainly follows the story of Runa, the character I quoted yesterday and mentioned in this post as one of my favorites.)
A reasonable comparison is the separate story-lines in the pairs of “books” in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: discrete adventures taking place in the same time.
I sketched out some chapters for Runa’s story and copied over what’s already written that fits in that new framework: 79 pages.
Can’t say yet whether it’s enough to be it’s own story (too distracting to think about, honestly. I’m trying to stay focused here). but it’s nice to reassure myself that the good work I’ve done isn’t *all* in the cut bits file.