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draft 2: day 11 – leap of faith

so i’m coming into that large section of the story upon which i have been expecting to implement a fairly major overhaul.* however, as i think i referred to recently, i’ve had second thoughts about my second thoughts, i’ve even dragged my wife through all the ins and outs of my convoluted thinking on this, bless her patient heart.

interestingly, it all boils down to an environmental (or UI!) change. the events, order, progress, character development, all of these things would remain the same, regardless, but the environment(s) they would occur in would be different.

why? well, because i wasn’t always checking my notes as i wrote.

when i’m writing, i tend to have additional thoughts about previous or future scenes and instead of stopping my current flow, i scribble them down on a piece of paper to the side. as you can imagine, this has resulted in not only a lot of scrap pieces of paper hanging around, but a lot of scrap pieces of paper disappearing. with HHNF, i started that normal hap-hazard way, but quickly forced myself to stick to devoted sheets of paper with the relevant issues. as a result, i have managed to keep all my ideas (the good ones and the bad ones) to hand, ready for revisions or as yet unwritten scenes.

unfortunately, despite having them all handy, i didn’t always refer to them. so, in this particular case, i had planned the scene in question with a particular environment in mind. it wasn’t as detailed as it should’ve been, though, so when i had another, apparently more engaging and fleshed out idea, i scribbled it down on said sheet and felt very excited about getting to it.

when i finished writing that scene**, however, i was not feeling terribly enthusiastic about how it was turning out. i liked a lot of it, but there was something that felt awkward, a bit unwieldy, somehow off. this continued to nag at me until i looked at my notes and discovered that i had written the scene with the original vision, utterly forgetting the newer idea. given the amount i had written, though, and that the scene was done, i opted against revamping at the time, in order to reach the end and see the bigger picture.

in all my typing up, though, i’ve been trying to prepare for that scene’s work. i’ve tried to envision how the events would shift (not change) within this new environment. the principals would remain, because i really liked the story itself, but i knew i wanted this new environment because it was going to work much better.

or would it?

now that i have reached this scene, i find that i have had more trouble envisioning how to make the newer idea work better than the one i’ve written. having wrung through several of the writing obstacles in the original vision, i can’t see how painting on a new environment would change anything, which leads me to question the rationale behind wanting to change it.

yes, it could be my laziness, certainly. the overhaul would be considerable and i’m an inherently lazy writer. once i’ve started down a path, i try to stick to it. this certainly gets me in trouble when i force my characters, so the same certainly would apply here, but i think i’m being objective and honest about this appraisal and the decision i’ve finally made to stick with the original, at least for now.

this other environment has plenty of its own style and aura, and i have certainly filed it for future use, so it won’t be lost, but the original vision is going to stay, and i feel pretty good about this. not 100% confident, given all the back and forth i’ve had over this for several weeks, but i believe this is right.

we shall see. now i’m late for work.

(and it was 20 more pages, today, crossing well past the 50K marker)

* yes, i’ve spent more than a few years in IT.

** which turned out to be considerably longer than i originally envisioned, but that’s okay because this was a case where my original vision was a little less than detailed

2 Comments
  1. Pfft. Lazy writer indeed!
    I think this may be a case of writing the scene both ways then step back, get some distance from it, and look at them again. It might also help to have your beta readers look at both to get a objective view.

  2. good point, dear (and thank you), but it’s a tough call. the first reading experience is very important, as each successive reading is informed by the previous one, as you know, and a significant amount of the impact of this particular situation is the result of it’s new-ness. that said, writing them both out for myself, at least, is probably the best answer. *sigh*

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