Bit of a pickle

I said that I couldn’t really revise Tallulah until tomorrow. Well, that is probably true. But it might also just be due to the fact that, having started out allowing myself to get away with rewriting a whole bunch of stuff right from the off, I’m now thinking about this revision not as the structural maintenance that it originally was intended to be, but as a full-on re-write.

I want to rewrite it. Lots of it, if not all. Probably not all, honestly. But there is some stuff that just detracts from the narrative and, what’s worse, the coherence of the characters.

This chapter I’m frozen up about currently is one such chapter, at least to memory. I know kind of how I want it to play out in this revised state of affairs, and it may well be shorter than it currently is (which hopefully also means tighter), and it means a lot of rewriting. Again, I’d never get rid of the original, but that’s not really the point. The point is that not only am I forced to make some compromises in terms of the schedule I had so optimistically set up for myself to balance revision and study, but now I’m compromising my plans for revision as well. The slope is slippery indeed.

But then again, I’ll have to re-write it at some point anyway, so why not now? Well, one reason is because it would be a lot easier to just clunkily add in the bits that aren’t there that I want to see and then worry about prettifying it later, because I’d get through the work a lot faster, because I’d be splitting the task right down the middle, essentially – structure first, content second. In terms of leaving placeholders to be fleshed-out later, yeah, I could do that really quickly, probably in a week or two, even with assignments and the show all going on. And what’s nice about that is that I wouldn’t have to worry too much about not having enough energy to do all of it at once, because this would require a very low amount of investment from me, leaving me free to focus more on assignments and keeping up-to-date with study.

Arguments against doing that? Well, although it would be ‘more or less’ splitting this one task down the middle, it would end up creating more work – going through it once to roughly and unceremoniously mark out where renovations are going to happen, and then come back and make them happen. When I have free time. Which does, theoretically, have the chance to not only balance this out time-wise but also to make the splitting up of this task all the more appealing.

But the other thing is that I’ve started revision with a lot of re-writing, and it’s re-writing that feels right, that gets the tone of the narrative to a much more effective – I feel anyway – place, makes it feel more subjective and tied in to Tallulah’s perspective, which is what I wanted but couldn’t quite manage to capture – again, that’s how I feel about it – and I am worried that if I don’t continue along that vein I’ll end up forgetting how to do it.

Mind you, I managed to do it once, and I’ve done it before as well. I remembered. It’s kicking around up here somewhere. So that’s probably just panic.

The third reason is just that it’s satisfying to do. I miss writing. But that’s hedonistic; it doesn’t mean it’s bad to be doing things this way, but it doesn’t make it good either. And I need it to be good more than I need it to be enjoyable. I’ll be able to look back and get enjoyment at the end if I focus on making it good in the present. That’s the idea anyway.

I may also be more likely to actually do the revision if I do it the way I enjoy doing it, but equally I may be more likely to do it when it’s easier to do so that I’m not freaking out about not having enough time to focus on other things. Plus if I split it up, the speed at which I’ll be able to get the first ‘half’ completed – or so I calculate – will probably feel pretty great, and make me feel all productive and stuff. And I’d be able to get some of it done today instead of having to wait until at least tomorrow.

So I dunno. Logistic soundness vs enjoyable momentum. Both have their indulgent traits; both of them have practical implications. And while I don’t want to trick myself into thinking that I’m writing again instead of revising, it could just be that I am writing again instead of revising. That the first draft is just too rough to stand. And I know it is anyway; like I say I will have to rewrite it eventually anyway, simply because I feel the voice is wrong. Wrong for this story at least. And sticking with a plan just because it was the first plan I had – well, I already threw that one out the window when I wrote the first draft, and it worked out really well. I lifted the word-limit, the time-limit, and I’m sure there was some third thing, but the point is that I altered the plan and it ended up helping me.

I have a tutorial in about an hour, and then about an hour and a half before I have to catch the bus to the show. I guess I’ll find out if something happens in those two hours to push me more in one direction over the other.

On a totally unrelated note: I really want to make comics now. If you ever want to test your writing skills, take two pages of a comic and translate it into prose. It’s incredibly eye-opening.

Back to study …


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