It’s been so long since I’ve posted that the site is sending me subscription confirmation email 3-5 times a day. I’ve logged on a couple of times with the intention of actually cobbling together a post but nothing pulled together. Everything is updated so I have no idea what the technical glitch is.
Maybe the site is lonely?
It’s been a busy few months. A flood of near biblical proportions at work. Holidays, illnesses of all sorts and severities burning through the household. Meals to cook, errands to run and chores to do. You know, life.
And then there’s the elephant perched precariously on the bookshelf – The Tome.
Haven’t touched it since I applied for the fellowship. Just didn’t want to deal with it. Too many words, too many problems with the manuscript. Oh look a short story I can distract myself with. You know, life.
Been poking at the body a bit, trying to figure out if it’s ready to be buried in the filing cabinet or if resurrection is still possible. Didn’t quite know where to start until I attended a writer’s workshop for getting a manuscript started or back on track. I suppose it was a case of hearing the right words at the right time but something definitely sparked. The brilliant piece of wisdom imparted to me?
Read the manuscript.
So I sat myself down and read from beginning to end, something I’ve never done.
It’s SOOOOO bad! I can see why I didn’t get the fellowship.
I was trying to make my character’s lives too nice, too interesting, too much beyond what life usually is. The entire point of the manuscript was lost in all the happy wishful thinking.
It’s really difficult to have children spring forth from your head like Athena and then torture them. But it’s either that or bury them in the drawer.
So what did I do?
Chucked the entire thing. All 97,391 words of it.
Yeah, that was painful.
Don’t worry, I haven’t gone off the deep end. I still have the manuscript in a binder. I’m just ignoring it so those dreadful happy thoughts won’t creep back into the next version.
What am I doing now?
Developing character sketches and timelines and a fleshed-out outline that moves the story forward in a rational order.
What a fuckin’ concept.
I would ask why I didn’t do it years ago but I’ve always been one of those people who wrote the paper first and then did the assigned outline.
There’s minimal time for writing so the work is moving at a glacial pace but forward momentum is still movement.
Hopefully once it gets to the actual writing things will move along quickly because I’ve front loaded the work. I’ll believe that particular piece of b.s. when it actually happens.
Guess the first 97,391 words were just clearing my throat?