|Maria A Smith|
Revision and editing has dominated my writing time in the last week, finally I feel the mist is beginning to clear and I can go forward with my novel. I'm going to do a complete re-write, I know I'm not alone in having to do this, major rewriting seems to be common, it just feels that way when you're in the thick of it, and you begin to doubt yourself, and what you've done before.
I'll be making huge changes, every chapter and scene will need work. This last week, I've been churning things over in my mind, and I'm feeling more positive to take the story to the next level. Even though it means characters will be cut, and entire scenes will be shifted. I've been looking at character, plot, and setting, each area needs lots of work, but I'll just give my thoughts on character for the moment.
Shall I cut anyone out? - I'm going to lose one or two who don't have major parts, for the sake of my plot, they aren't needed, and I feel they are now distracting me. So they'll be cut out. Maybe I'll reincarnate them in another story one day, but for now, they are redundant.
I'm desperate to write more backstory for each of my main characters, its important readers know what has led them to the situation thats occurring, I need to convey what each one desires, what they fear, its going to be tricky weaving it in, in such a way that I don't give too much away when I raise the stakes. I'm wary of flashbacks too, but there are some key past events that need to be told.
Daft as it sounds, I might interview each of my characters, starting with easy stuff, like where were you born? How old are you? Then work my way round to the harder stuff, like, what are you scared of? Bizarrely, I feel I need to sneak up on them, let them feel comfortable, while I interrogate them. I'll get a deeper understanding of what motivates them, and of their emotional issues, which are critical to the way the story plays out on the page. I've done it before in my previous novel and it worked really well.
This writing game is hard don't you think? I keep asking myself, why have I chosen to write such a complicated story? Ugh! Then I think, if only I can get this story told. Its so frustrating. Deep down I know I'm not alone, I'm not am I? Theres lots of you fighting to get it written? But it has certainly felt like it for most of the last year.
So whats changed to make me feel I can go forward? I've made a new plan, beginning with arranging to meet up with a writing buddy who is also struggling with a novel. We've arranged a date to pitch our outlines to each other, and this has given me a new focus. I need to be prepared. I never go into a business meeting unprepared, so I'm treating this meeting the same. This week I'm going through whats left of the novel, making myself a chapter plan. Numbering each one and writing two sentences about it on a piece of A4, I'm keeping it as simple as I can at this stage.
When thats done, I'll print two copies, and cut one up so I have a strip for each chapter, that way, I can move them about, so maybe chapter one, fits better at chapter six, and later chapters need to come forward. I find this is a good visual way of brainstorming if I need a prologue, or to see if I am starting in the wrong place. Often I need to start further into the story.
The rest of my writing week will be blogging, here, and over at Phoenix Writers Subs Club and that is definitely enough. Otherwise, I'll be reading my manuscript in order to do the rewrite.
I'll definitely be making time for relaxation too, maybe a walk in the local park, the trees are changing magnificently, I want to capture them with my camera. I might swim too, I suppose it depends on what else life throws at me...
What will you be up to?