Sunday, November 18, 2018

Cleaning Up My Messes

When I make a mistake (which I do all too often) I do my best to fix it right away. But sometimes I make a real mess, and then it’s best not to rush in to repair things but to take my time cleaning everything up properly. Because being thorough is the only way to be sure I’ve sorted it out correctly.

Now, I expect my first drafts to be messy. As a discovery writer I go into it knowing plenty of background and something about the main characters, the core idea of the story and the general ‘shape’ of it. But not how it will all play out, the twists and turns along the way, or what exactly the end will look like. I find that out as I write, getting to know the characters better as I go. When I’m done I’ve got a mess on my hands, but I understand what needs to be done to make it right.

This time however, with Slowpocalypse Book 5, I didn’t have as good a grip on things as usual after finishing that first draft, so I’ve been finding a lot more that had to be changed as I’ve rewritten and revised – and sometimes had to change stuff back again. And with the stop and start way I’ve had to work on it, this piecemeal process, it’s been difficult to keep it all straight in my head, precisely how those pieces fit together. Which makes the job more challenging than before. Still, I know the story now, and it’s too good to give up on. And too good not to take the time to get it right, even though that means cleaning up a big mess. Thankfully I’ve got God to help.

No comments: