Yeah, so no Kitty today...but tomorrow! I will have lots of time tomorrow to figure out how to use those mostly horrible words in a story. Remember how I said "nice-ish"? I think we have different ideas of what that means. I'm kinda scared of what I would have gotten if I didn't.
So quick-ish post today, then I'm off to the park with Dino Boy and Ninja Girl. (Yes, I'm taking my laptop in futile hope that I'll get work done.)
I've mentioned before that I've been rewriting a book. Not editing. Not reworking a big chunk. I'm talking open-a-blank-document-and-start-over-from-page-one kind of thing. The kind of "revision" where you are completely rethinking and sometimes even re-imagining the story.
It's been interesting, to say the least.
I've mentioned at one point being a fan of the rewrite. I've also spent a lot of time over the last couple months complaining about the rewrite. And, well, I guess that's the journey of every book. You love/hate it, don't you?
Recently I've stepped back from this project to work on another that needs my immediate attention. In doing so, I've noticed a few side effects of rewriting. Good and bad things.
1. Nothing Seems Too Hard Anymore
After starting completely over, it's amazing how easy everything else seems. Cutting a chapter? Eh, I cut a whole book! Changing a character's motivation? Psh, I've rewritten their whole backstory AND modified their personality accordingly. Creating more tension? Sure. No problem.
And so on and so forth.
On the one hand, this is extremely liberating. I've already had the worst possible editing situation thrown at me! If I can do this—and amazingly I am doing it—I can do anything. Unfortunately, it also leads to:
2. Serious Editing Doubts
Here I was sounding all confident, but the flip side of the "I can survive a rewrite" is you start to wonder if you need to rewrite everything. As I'm editing something else, I can't help but think "Is this enough?"
I mean, I'm not rewriting anything! Is it really okay to just tweak one thing here and two things there? I keep freaking out that the book hasn't changed enough, and thus I'm not editing it well enough.
I'm aware that this is very silly thinking, and yet I can't seem to kick it. And I've finally realized why:
3. Distrust In My Story, And My Writing
(Disclaimer: This might sound depressing, but I am in no way depressed. I promise. I'm working and happy and doing well.)
As a greener writer, I trusted that my stories were coming out mostly right. I didn't realize that I could be taking wrong plot turns without even knowing it. I just assumed the organic unfolding of the story was the most ideal.
Of course, I was wrong.
Stories need structure and craft and careful stringing along to really work. As organic as I write, I've finally learned I need to go in after and put in some support beams, so to speak. Thus, I don't trust my writing anymore. I assume there are problems I don't see, possibly huge ones that'll make the whole thing fall apart.
This is good and bad. Sometimes it's hard to write under this mentality, since I know every word I put down could be deleted later. But it's much easier to edit, since I suspected those words might not be right in the first place.
I'm still getting used to this, figuring out how to write and edit with the side effects of rewriting. But overall, I think it's been a good thing for me. Difficult, but good.