The Next Phase

Another update on the current novel. Sometimes you gotta raze your work to the ground to build something better.

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

Life the past year has been…let’s just say “complicated.” For anyone out there who feels like they’ve been failing themselves, join the club. We’ve all struggled to do what we’ve wanted or needed to do consistently while the world has been, y’know, ending. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. It just means we should be easy on ourselves when we fail.

The good news is, I have gotten my first dose of the vaccine, and I have finally entered the next phase of this book.

As I said in a previous post, I started this beast November 2009. It’s been extremely slow-going, but it has been going (sometimes), and that’s the important part. So what’s this new phase?

REWRITING. I am officially to the point where I have a true beginning, middle, and end planned (adding in the new second half of the book since I decided not to make it the duology I thought it was going to be). Everything is set up and organized to make the next iteration of this story a little deeper and better overall. Now it’s time to put fingers to keyboard!

Sorta.

In starting this next phase, I am slowly starting to realize just how little I planned when I started writing approximately one million years ago. I am still on the very first chapter and I keep having to go back to worldbuilding and character decisions I made forever ago, and undo what I had. 

This isn’t a problem necessarily – I get a massive dopamine rush when I smooth out wrinkles – but it is wearing a little on my patience. I feel like I need to already have everything figured out and ready to go so that I can just sit in one spot and write for hours on end, but I keep finding problems or “that’s not quite right”s that I need to fix. But that’s what rewriting is for, isn’t it?

Plot holes are being plugged, character arcs and motivations are being better mapped out, and the weird ideas I had and never questioned are being removed. Or enhanced. Gotta have some weird, am I right?

What am I doing now?

I’m actually taking a look at what it will be like if I start from scratch entirely. Keep the basic plot points/beats of the main story, but start over with character creation, the way the story is told, the overall feel of the book. I just feel like something is missing from the originally ideas and I’m not 100% sure I can salvage what I have by just shuffling things around. 

Basically this would be returning to the “ooh, I have an idea for a book!” phase of it all. I was afraid when I first thought about doing this because I thought that maybe I was just finding a loophole so that I could feel like I’m writing something new, but talking with my other writer friends, this isn’t something that’s entirely uncommon. Sometimes you just gotta raze your shit to the ground to build something better.

But what are you doing writing this post, Charlie?

Jeez, way to call me out, y’all. 

Right now I’m trying to build momentum. I haven’t been writing very much the past, well…way too long and now I’m having trouble getting back into the swing of things. So now I’m writing this post to both update you all on how it’s going since I haven’t said much, and to stretch my fingers out a bit.

I’m hoping I can get my brain to focus on work in general and then I can focus more on this novel specifically. Hopefully. Pomos are helping too, but everything is incremental progress.

And that’s okay. Sometimes your progress will be agonizingly slow and take days or weeks to even make a dent, but just keep at it and eventually you will get there. Each step gets you closer, whether you’re walking or running. 

They say to themself, hoping for some motivation…

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