Greetings and Salutations, Blog Readers!
As I ramp up my efforts with Flake City, barreling towards publication time, I realized it may be good for me to include more blogs about my writing and editing process to document my journey a little bit.
When making my brainstorming sheet on topics I could discuss on the blog, I noted that I could make a whole series on writing stuff, and maybe help others, but definitely document my journey.
Of course, as I finish Flake City and enter into edit phase one of my (thus far) favorite project, I am learning all sorts of lessons, and all of that seems worth documenting too.
So, I think I will be blogging more often about the writing and editing process, to document my journey, and also to maybe help other writers in their own journey.
At the moment, I am in the middle of massive rewrite, reorganizing and rewriting and entire characters back story. I don’t mind making changes, these things happen, hell, Flake City started out as a short story, but, I do mind because it means one of the images, the scene, I had for this character, a scene that came to me fully formed and ready to go, would no longer be used, or even needed.
Sure, this scene largely ISN’T needed, which is why it won’t be needed in the rewrites either. The scene isn’t about the character, but the scene I am cutting had less to do with the characterization, and more to do with the time-line, so the scene is very much not needed, even if the characterization wasn’t changing, which is already has.
I love this scene, and while I know I can use it later for something else, a dream sequence, probably, I have been avoiding it like crazy. I also know it means changing so much work I have done, little conversations, quips, stories, sentences…beautiful work done in one very long chapter eleven, all of which is going to be changed. I could, and probably would have, in the past, deleted it, and started over, but this time, I took a more practical approach. I first read it through and color coordinated it with the digital highlighter into different categories, like things that would have to be deleted, things that could stay just as they were, but had to be moved, things that had to be reworked, things that could stay if they were reworked, but likely wouldn’t be needed, things that were perfect little gems…and when I was happy with the organization of all of these words, these beautiful little sentences, I slept on the changes I would be making, looked over the notes and brainstorming I was doing about the chapter, the changes, and began to grieve the loss of one of my favorite scenes.
Once I realized I could use it elsewhere, I was okay, and I anticipate I will likely copy chapter eleven into a different file, rework it, and make sure I am totally happy with the changes, before I remove the original stuff, the original scenes, back stories, and conversations, and put the new, correct one, in it’s place. Once I am sure it is good for me to do so, and I am sure I will be happy in doing so, because I know the change has to happen. If I don’t want to delete it, I will simply substitute the new chapter in, but I suspect I will have no problem deleting my old work once I have the new work in front of you.
Because that’s how it is sometimes, you don’t want to delete your hard work.
That’s fine, as long as you do the hard work you still have left, like rewriting chapter eleven, in my case. I can keep the old chapter. I can keep the old story line, the old back stories, the precious scene I love so much, but it may exist somewhere else, either in the story or only on my computer.
It is more important that Flake City, in it’s best form, survive and make it to publication, than some scene, no matter how much i love it, or some writing I don’t want to delete.
The work I did may be good, but it isn’t right. I need to write the new chapter. To process this, I have a strategy, and in researching what to do for this process, I saw many writers having this problem, the trepidation in deleting their beautiful, precious words and sentences, so…I realized that all that thinking about starting a blog series about my writing process was actually pretty damn needed, because here I was finding more writers with the same problems I was having…
If I manage to solve the problems, as I was setting about, and have set about, to do, and I don’t share that information and process…I am a giant asshole, and not a quirky, quippy, edgy asshole you kinda love, either. No, the asshole artist who doesn’t help other artists be their best selves and reach their own goals.
And fuck that right to hell.
So, try color coordinating the passages, and then slowly rewrite them, and then substitute your new writing in. You can make a special file on your desktop just for the original, in my case, the original Chapter Eleven.
I hope this has been helpful to you, and that it enables you to make better use of your time writing and editing, but most of all to your peace of mind when having to rework your past efforts.
This is a hard time, it isn’t easy to change your beautiful work, more so if the work you have done is in fact, working beautifully, and only doesn’t “work” because of the story you are now telling. Instead of losing this work, feel free to save it.
You may need it in another chapter, another book, or a dream sequence….or just for yourself when you are having a rough day, you can read your great chapter you had to delete, or you can keep the files on hand to show the growth you have made as a writer.
Or maybe you can publish it on your blog a year after you publish your art?
Maybe I’ll do that? Either way, I hope you get to creating!
Thanks for reading!