writing

Revision Woes

Sometimes I love revising. While there’s a sense of discovery to the first draft, it’s also sometimes hard to think of what happens next. With revising, I’ve figured out what the book is really about, and I can mold and shape it.

But sometimes that can be a real challenge because what’s already there has a powerful hold on the mind, especially if it’s something I like. It’s tempting to tinker with the words that are there rather than question the scene that’s there. Even if I let myself question the scene, it can be hard to break away from the circumstances surrounding it.

That’s where I found myself yesterday. There’s a scene that doesn’t need to be there. It came about in the first place because I was nearing the end of a chapter and needed a good end of chapter cliffhanger. Sometimes, I get good stuff out of throwing in a cliffhanger like that. It sends the story off in a fun new direction by adding additional conflict. But when I really looked at the story, there was no reason for the antagonist to show up at that time. He had other things he needed to be doing. On the other hand, I really liked the other directions that incident spurred, and I liked how I set it up. The problem is, I can’t really have the setup and the aftermath without the incident, and I’m having a hard time mentally getting away from what I already did to create something entirely new. This may be one of those situations that requires starting a new blank document and writing an entirely new scene without referring to the previous draft, then pasting that in.

It’s like I have to completely unwrite what was there, then think of something entirely new, and then smooth over the seams. It’s not even an important scene, but that always seems to make it harder. It’s easier to change important scenes, in a way.

So, that’s going to be my fun for the day.

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