Jul 8, 2011

Attack of the rewriting formats

I feel like I'm doing a Linda; one moment, I'm walking down the road from work and I get hit with a whole other approach for my Cows, my most active WIP.

It's been feeling very NaNo-ish, meaning a lot of words for the sake of writing with not much going on.  I've gotten comments from my crit group: something needs to happen, where is the story going, i think this would be better if this was shorter (and I thinking it was only going to be 60-70 pages anyway).  Every single thing they say is right, and so I've been trying to figure out how to fix things.

For awhile I figured, eh, go along with this obviously not well written piece just to finish it and flesh out ideas (I'm a discovery writer) and then I'd rewrite several times, each without a different side character to see how that changes things.  I'd turn it into an active revision project, maybe showcase on another blog all the different direction one can take with an idea and have it be an example of how to rewrite something.

And then I was like, nah, w~ay to time consuming, I'll just take my machete to this story and essentially trash the last 20 pages AND all of the side characters.  It's all about my lead, Belle, anyway.  I'll just turn it into a character piece about her and stop trying to fit in all my back story, the traveling, and the sudden appearance of new characters.  They don't need to be there, Belle doesn't care why she is the way she is, she just wants to make amends for being a coward and fix what was wrong with her life before it got destroyed.

So I considered other stories I've written, all short, and noticed a pattern.  I usually do third person limited with a small cast of characters, get deep into someone's mind about a person/event/idea, and then end the story (usually on an angsty note).  With Cows, I have Belle's attention spread out over a lot things, and haven't really gotten to know the other characters. Thus, what this story needs is to be a collection of POV from all the different characters that overlap, in a style I'm familiar with and people seem to like, that can allow me to cover everything about this world.

I think anyway.  All these structure ideas pretty much hit me at the same time and I can't decide which one is better. Thus, it's going to be pushed aside for awhile and I'll treat it like shopping.  I always browse around the mall first, and then if an item still sticks with me by the time I leave I figure that's a good sign it's something to buy because I really want it/could use it rather than just impulsing.  So I'll wait and see which idea sticks around cuz it'll probably be the better one/one I'll most want to write and thus will have a better time doing it.  Hopefully a new one doesn't pop up.

In the mean time, I do have a story deadline coming up at the end of the month for something I haven't even written yet and I plan on working on that instead for a while. I just need the first draft, so that's a relief.


  1. I do think we sometimes need that bit of space just to let things stew and see what happens. I've noticed that my WIP is never far from my mind, no matter what I'm doing nowadays.

    Good luck with the story you are working on for the deadline.

  2. Oh, I know all about WIP haunting. They've gotten in my way of work plently of times ^_^