New Strategy

I need to try something new.

Sometimes, you have to make a conscious decision to no longer bang your head against a wall in an effort to break it down, and instead choose to simply walk around the wall. Making this decision can be difficult, forcing you outside of your comfort zone, and this is certainly true of writing as well. I have just decided to do this with regards to Sioned’s Tale. I’m employing a new strategy for finishing the re-writes which I have been struggling with for some time now. The plot requires major revamping, and I am also changing the setting (tweaking it, really) as well as adding in a few side-plots, another race (trolls), and refining the character of Sioned.

The sort of extensive rewrites I am considering are pretty daunting. It doesn’t just require the rearranging of a few sentences or paragraphs. For this version I need to add whole chapters, delete other chapters, insert scenes between other scenes, change names, and generally rip the entire manuscript apart to put it back together again. So far, I’ve outlined the changes I want to make, refined these ideas, and pondered the shifts these changes will require in the original plot and character development. Beyond that, I struggle. Something about trying to read through and add or subtract or rearrange huge chunks of text just daunts me. Every time I  begin, I quit after a few hours having barely accomplished anything. Naturally, this only makes the situation worse.

So, I’ve determined that a new strategy is necessary, and it finally came to me, thanks in part to an episode of The West Wing. I’m starting all over again on a white piece of paper. Ok, not really, but I have opened a new word file, and started again at the beginning. Scenes that I want to keep I simply copy over from the last draft. Then I add a little, copy again, add a little more, etc. Somehow, this process is slightly less daunting. I feel more like I’m getting somewhere, and less like I’m drowning in a sea of irrelevant plot points.

Starting over feels both liberating and a little scary. Overall, I’m excited though.

Thought for the Week: “We’re starting all over again on a white piece of paper!” Sam Seaborn from The West Wing

Currently Reading: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

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2 Comments

  1. Rafael said,

    July 12, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    You might want to check out this podcast:

    http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/07/11/writing-excuses-4-27-major-overhauls-to-broken-stories/

    And yes, my second book needs some major re-writes, but it is POV problems (to much head-hopping) not plot problems. They are there, but I know where they are and how to fix them.

    And my third, well, I’m stuck because it is a mess. I may have to outline it!


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