Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This book is cursed

It's a humbling feeling at 67,000 words into a draft to realize you've approached the telling of the story all wrong.

Not the story itself or the question of who the story belongs to. No, it's the background details and the overall focus; what moments you share and which characters share them.

About 40,000 words previous, I had a feeling the story wasn't working and that its issues were rooted in its beginning chapters. The problem with issues that early is that they twist and redirect the entire story in little ways, until it's not growing because those problems are like nasty weeds stealing all the sunlight.

Doing what I have to do—what the story needs me to do be happy with the telling of it—means I rewrite 67,000 words. I don't have to throw them out. A great deal of the plot can remain relevant, but the pacing and the time and the people involved has to shift.

I have to rework a romantic subplot, re-plot a secondary character's involvement, plot a new secondary character's role, and try to refocus the story. Was hoping to spend my upcoming vacation reading, but it looks like I'll still be drafting.

5 comments:

Leslie said...

Yikes. I don't know if "better late than never" applies here, but I imagine it wouldn't help you feel much better, even if it did. I'll try sending good rewriting vibes your direction... Do you need a chalk pentagram and black candle to send good rewriting vibes?

Chandra Rooney said...

Thanks, Leslie.

I think a bag of skittles and a cup of coffee to bribe Ethanael might get better results. :)

Leigh said...

Ah Chandra, I feel for you! With my current wip, I learned at around 70K or so that the first 100 pgs (or more) are really just backstory. The book started in the wrong place and time. For me, I had to keep going - am currently at 92K with LOTS more story to go...my rewrite will be huge! lol...

Anyway, I do empathize. good luck~

Chandra Rooney said...

I look forward to when we can sit down in person and talk all about this, Leigh!

Leigh said...

Yes, Chandra! Would love that. When are you coming to LA???

p.s no such thing as cursed!!!