It seems these days that I don’t even get through a whole re-draft before I start re-working something else…I have spent the last month working through my book, trying to smooth out all the ripples that were echoing out from my last series of major changes. The most minute alterations to plot, character or storyline have such ongoing ricochets, its like shooting a laser beam inside a chamber walled with mirrors.
Now, before even getting to the end of my last draft, here I am making another huge array of cuts, the repercussions of which are splattering out rampantly across the pages, muddying my mind and my manuscript.
The great news is though, they are CUTS and that means, I have successfully trimmed a good 5000 words off a tangent in my storyline. A tangent that I now see was never needed. As colourful and fun as the chapters were, as beautiful and exciting as the action and descriptions were, I just didn’t need more junk bottle-necking up my conclusion.
Keep it simple!
I say that, as though it’s easy…
Feeling the weight of what I had just done I needed some space and distance – some time to think.
So, I had a break from my vicious chapter slaughtering and did some weeding. There I was, tearing whole lifeforms out of their homes, tossing them into a dark oppressive bag…upending communities of luscious green organisms and leaving their land in ruins. A battlefield of pulled roots and severed leaves. It seems today is all about butchery.
I return now to my pages, to my characters who are hanging by a thread, wondering if they will live or die, if they will be next.
I tell them, “What I do is for your own good…someday you’ll thank me for the pain I’m putting you through.”
(You know you are on to a good thing when you verbalize conversations with fictional characters that you invented right?)
Now, if only I can get a handle on all these story threads that are left in tatters. Wrangling the severed tentacles of my literary hydra is not as straight-forward as I had hoped when I first hit that delete key.
Oops – Where one gruesome head was; there are now three.
Speaking of tentacles…I love this quote.