Editing and revision are currently the bane of my existence.
On Friday, I set out with a specific goal in mind: to write two new chapters for The Divided Draft. The problem with splitting one novel into two separate parts is the need to rediscover the structure and guiding action of the first part. The second one is easy. The goal of the original piece remains the same. The first one is where the problem lies. Going through the motions of writing a new chapter, this dilemma became more prominent than it has of late. I finished one chapter, feeling overwhelmed with plots and purposes, motivations and goals and I couldn’t continue. Something didn’t feel right. Something was missing. I was writing, but I didn’t have the right plan in motion.
Normally, I love writing new chapters. I love creating new scenarios within which beloved characters can interact with each other and their surroundings in ways they haven’t yet. But this experience was quite the opposite, and I hate the feeling of being uninspired, the feeling of doing something because it has to be done. You should never do anything because you have to do it. The lack of passion determines that there is something wrong with what you’re doing. That is my belief.
In any case, writing this new chapter did bring one positive outcome. It reinforced for me the need to better organize my story according to the scenes I’d already written and better understanding the new goal that my protagonist needed to pursue for this book to work, and for the next one to fulfill a plausible continuation of the narrative begun in the first.
Phew! That was a mouthful.
So that’s where things stand at the moment. I’m in the deeps of properly outlining the scenes I have written thus far, to see where they’re leading. I’m well done the first act of this book, and I have cemented down my climax and resolution. i refuse to jump wholeheartedly into the second and third act until I have a better grasp of important beats and the natural progress that needs to be taken.
Of course, I know I’ll deviate from that plan. That’s why I’m a plotter with pantser tendencies. I love following unexpected twists and turns as they appear. I just need to clear my head first, to better appreciate the ultimate goal.
I’ll let you know how that turns out.
For the moment, let me put the question to you: do you jump headfirst into a story without thinking, or overthink until every last movement has been planned out? Or, are you the grey between the black and white?