So, as many of you may recall, I have a novel called ‘Breeding Demons’ that I wrote back in 2010. It was a NaNoWriMo novel and while the STORY was a good one it wasn’t even close to being publishable.
I have struggled with it ever since.
Shortly before I discovered what I needed to do with my novel, I discovered another important thing:
If you take a draft of your novel to read in the tub, make sure there are no loose pages. #IDidNotCheck #WaterEnhanced #DoesNotCleanUpWell
I had no idea how to revise it. I knew that I didn’t really have a ‘book’ per se – I had a really strong outline of the basic plot written out into scenes. I knew this but it still didn’t help.
I couldn’t see how to break apart the scenes I had to add in the necessary pieces to make it into a book.
It’s not that I thought it was too perfect the way it was. It’s not that I was too intimidated by the changes needed. It’s not that I was afraid of the work.
It’s that I literally had no idea how to get from where it was to where it has to be.
Last spring, I took it with me on a writing retreat and I worked hard on the layers that I needed to add. I didn’t write any more of the actual scenes, I wrote ABOUT the scenes* and about the characters, and about the plot. I clarified what the novel was about.
But still, I couldn’t figure how how to start weaving those layers in.
This week, though? Thanks to a commitment I made with my friend, Kate Newbill, I revisited the manuscript. I got ten pages in and it struck me…
I can’t use any of this for my book.
I mean, I can use the ideas, I can use the scene framework, but the writing itself is a bit too snappy, a bit too inside-jokey. A bit too off-the-cuff.
Sounds like a crisis, hey?
It’s NOT! It’s TERRIFIC!
I’m free from figuring out how to make what I have better. I’m free from figuring out how to piece two sets of ideas together.
Instead, I can read a scene, figure out the most important points, and then write it the way I want to now. I can include the threads that will lead to later developments. I can write the book I want to write now – I’m not bound by the one I wrote over six years ago.
I can already see how to proceed and I will be starting today.
More updates as events warrant.
*A concept I learned from Joan Clark in a terrific workshop last winter. If you ever get a chance to take a workshop from her or Bernice Morgan, do it. Right away.