Monday, August 6, 2012

My Dear Sweet Dilemma

I officially decided to completely throw out 20K of my novel the other day. It was all rubbish. Now I have to figure out how to get from point A to point B. I've made several story lines that have huge gaps in the center now (a couple of them had gaps even before the deletion - which is a sliver of the reason it had to go) and that is the dilemma. I can't simply rewrite the scenes that were there before - they had no right being there in the first place. So it's a matter of unearthing what the story needs and wants and separating it from what I need and want.
My subconscious is screaming Tension! Tension! Tension! Bad stuff! (Because the word "tension" is beginning to look weird to me.) I've seen several blog posts about how you need to have a fake climax before your real climax. Let your character fail at something. Keep the threat constant. Make it a roller coaster. Surprise yourself and therefore everyone else. Keeping all of these tips in mind, I've listed several maybes as to what can happen in that huge gap. While they're all alright ideas, I can't use all of them; however, I'm beginning to worry that I can't use any of them. 
It's hard to determine how much space each idea could take to write; each could vary from a couple of pages to tens of thousands of words. I don't want to put too much work into developing a thought and making it fit in with the rest of the story and it end up being much too short. Then again, I don't want to become so focused on the new idea and have it turn into a story entirely on its own...because not-so-technically, that would mean the cancer (I refer to the original 20K as the "tumor") has returned. How do I keep my manuscript healthy?
There are ideas I quite like and seem to fit well with everything else, but they're incomplete. They're like unfinished sentences because I'm stuck on a certain word and can't move forward. I can almost taste the rest of the ideas...but as soon as they start take shape, a breeze blows by and they disperse again. I've been told to give it time - the epiphany will happen when I least expect it (or want it). And -sigh- I will. I have no choice. 
This novel is SUCH a teenager though. I've already given it three years, put in the time and tears to mold it into a thing, and now it wants to tear itself apart word by word. It's all needy and messy, like a baby. I just want to smack it and scream, "Stop acting like a WIP!Be done already!" But I'm afraid I'll get arrested for novel abuse. Besides, it'll probably just rebel even more or something. I just wish it would be more considerate; I have other WIPs, you know! Anyway, I'm going to be lenient for now. Whatever. 
The clock is ticking, though. I have five more months until my deadline, but school starts in a week. School, as it likes to believe, trumps writing as much as I can help it. My novel had better not try to pull anything else. 

(Yeah, I am talking about my unpublished, unreadable piece of writing as if its a real thing. This is a no-judging zone.)



  1. Haha, I love your personification of your WiP. It definitely gets the picture across of a messy WIP perfectly... :D

  2. The awful moment when you realise a whole chunk of your MS is unsalvageable D: Mostly that happens to me at the beginning of a story -- the further I get in, the better the plot and writing flows (or it seems that way when I read my work back), so when I'm editing it's always the first 10-20k that need re-working. That's usually easier to do because the beginning can be anything, as long as it meets up with what happens later. Your predicament sounds a lot more challenging. At what point in the story does your recently created plot-vacuum exist?

    1. Bah, I don't even want to think about how much still needs reworking in the beginning of the story...nor about how much will have to be changed after I "fix" it. The tumor's about 30K words in and 30K out. Right smack in the middle of everything.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!