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Back to the drawing board

Well, not completely, but I should have known better that it wouldn’t be that simple.

Instead of the anticipated wild ride of new material, I ground almost to a halt, nearly trapped by diverging plot lines. I still stand by the essence of the recent new idea, and it will work in the larger context, but it took me the better part of 2 hours to realize just how disconnected I’d become from the original story and outline.

It was only after an hour of frustrated literary convolutions and other attempts to shoehorn this new idea into the existing story that I finally went back to the outline itself, and then to the 30+ pages of pre-material I’d written that led to that outline. I really wish I could catch these kinds of things sooner.

Anyway, back in that earlier material I found two things:

  1. A lot of the elements of this new idea were actually in line with many of the items in that pre-material. This was the good news (and very good news it was!)
  2. I had some key elements leading up to this section of the story completely wrong. This news was a bit less good.

In sum, I’m pointed in the correct direction, but I first have to go back and re-write about 20 pages of material to re-oritne the story properly. I know, love, I know, I always say to get to the end before I revise, but this is a slightly different situation. I’m not trying to write a better version of the material in question, but the proper version. The difference being that, as written, the characters and storyline have been running a bit too wild based on the whims of a collection of minor changes I’ve made. Unfortunately, these minor changes, collectively, have resulted in a very different storyline that threatens to undermine the whole rest of the piece.

Meaning what, exactly?

Meaning what I recently took as that super exciting ‘new idea’ was actually my original idea, that I had lost track of. I’m seeing it as my subconscious putting up a big red warning flag telling me to get back on track.

And now I am.*

 

* I really, really, really, really hope.

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