25 June 2008

The Axe of Hell

Day One of Revision Hell went surprisingly well. I am shocked, in fact, at how well.

Not only did I wield the Plot Spaghetti/Bullshit Pruning Axe with a ruthlessness I had no idea I possessed, but I had A Revelation. A sad revelation, but a revelation nonetheless.

But let me start at the beginning.

First, I discovered that I had already lopped off the last two-thirds of Novel #1 back in January when I had the original realization that the story was too big for one book. Yay! I was down to 86K already - yahoo!

Then, as I was thinking about the story (whilst making spaghetti for supper - how ironic is that?), some little bits of story drifted into some bits of things I've learned about writing in the last 6 months, there was a gentle collision and then BANG! - the Revelation exploded into my brain.

A major character has to be cut.


Double ouch, 'cuz he's one of my favorites. One of my darlings, in fact. And now I'm embarrassed, because I can't remember who said 'Kill your darlings'...

But anyway, he has to go. This isn't his story. It's his sister's story and while he's important to the overall saga, it isn't necessary to shift the focus to him at this point in it. The things that he does that are really important come later on -- in Book Two and Book Three.

So that was great, but left me with the problem of how to tell the parts of the story that are currently being told from his POV. There's a bunch of Important Stuff that needs to be planted about him in Book One - how do I do that, now that he's been pushed to the periphery of the story? By bedtime, I was frustrated by failing to figure this out and ready to give up on the whole idea.

At 3AM Ms. Baby came to the rescue.

Yes, Ms. Baby, who had conveniently refused to eat much of anything for supper; Ms. Baby who woke up hungry and demanded a "nack" (snack). As I was sitting there waiting patiently as she ate her string cheese, eyes closed so as not to interact and thereby, hopefully, ensure that she'd go back to sleep, I got it.

I can see the bits and pieces of Important Stuff that need to be woven in and I can see whose POV I'll need to use to do it. Yahoo.

So, all in all, Day One as the Mistress of my own Hell was pretty productive. And I'm actually looking forward to Day Two. Which is probably a mistake.



Miss Crabby Pants said...

I love the phrase "Mistress of my own Hell." It puts the fun back into the drudgery - I think I'll purloin the moniker to describe teaching.. it fits!

Bethanie said...

Hah! So true... Oh, the drudgery -- but at least I'm in charge!!