A Break Before Revision

I’ve been battling a book that I thought I had all planned out. There are scenes I’ve been imagining for ages, even before I decided I was going to use this plot for this series. But it’s been a bit of a struggle because there was something about it that just wasn’t working. I even got to a point where I couldn’t go forward because I had no idea what should happen next, so I tried something I’ve never done before and wrote scenes out of order. If there was a scene from later in the book that I thought I could write, I wrote it even if I didn’t know how I was going to get there. I wrote the “interview” scenes in which they talk to the suspects without knowing which order they were going to go in.

And the more I wrote, the more aware I became that there was a fundamental problem with the way I was handling this story, but I couldn’t think of how to solve it.

Monday night, I figured out exactly what that problem was and how to solve it — when I was less than 7,000 words away from my target word count (though a lot of those words aren’t going to end up in the book). It’s going to require some rewriting and restructuring, but the moment I changed that idea, the story fell together in my head. I tried writing one of the pivotal scenes in the way it would go with this new structure, and it was perfect. So, that’s what I’ll do.

The original plan was to finish the first draft this week, then take the long holiday weekend as a vacation of sorts, then after the holiday do the first round of revisions. With the revision I have in mind, there’s no point in making myself write to the end when the beginning is going to change, and I think a break before I start rewriting would be a good idea. So, I’m taking the rest of the week off as a bit of a holiday, and I’ll get back to work on Monday. The nice thing about working for yourself is that you get to decide when to take holidays. I don’t really like Monday holidays because they throw off my whole week. I’d rather start the weekend early, so that’s what I’m doing.

I don’t have big plans. I want to do some housework, sleep, read, and generally relax. I’ve been pushing through for the last month or so, telling myself I’d get a break after this draft, and I need that break. The next round of the book should be a lot easier. I hope!

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