Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Morning After

Some days we get on a roll, and not the good kind. We put down new scene and dialogue and plot twists and catch phrases and, before we know it, we’ve lost sight of our original story altogether.

Now, I’m not suggesting that your initial vision for your book should or will be exactly what you end up with. Because it shouldn’t and it won’t.

I’m talking about the days when your story starts to head in an entirely different direction, which is completely perfect and just what you’ve always dreamed it would be, until the next morning. And, unfortunately, there’s no morning after pill for a night of bad writing.

So what are you left with? A bright, beaming bundle of “who the heck authored this??” And the worst part? You start getting attached to it. You even kind of love parts of it!

It’s not that you want to keep it. You don’t. But you’ve already put so much time into it and it would really be a shame to erase it entirely. And you know what? I agree.

Something led you to make these changes, to deviate from your original plan. Don’t just ignore them—dissect them! Figure out what prompted you to move away from that plan. How well or not-so-well do these changes fit in with the rest of your book? Which ones have to go? Which ones can still be incorporated?

You’ll never get past your mistakes unless you try to learn from them. Go back and work with this section. Cut and add things until it’s cohesive with the writing so far and consistent with the plot to come.

You can’t discount a single day of work, not when they’re all worth something.

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