Some mood music for you guys …
Just got done reading Tallulah for the … I wanna say the second time? It might be the third, but I’m sure I’d remember that. I am so keen to go rewrite everything right this second.
I’m not going to do that.
Much as I’d like to go tear out the grass by the roots with my bare hands, I may find upon further consideration that I’d be better-served leaving some of the grass exactly where it is, roots and all. I want to give myself that chance to consider.
I stuck to my plan of not taking notes, and I think it was the right thing to do. It does mean that I don’t have a clear plan (or any kind of plan) for the next round of revisions, nor do I have a particularly clear idea of how to set about making one. But I identified some key parts that seriously don’t work, and have come face-to-face with the deep-seated issues that have plagued this project since even before I finished the first draft. I am very discontent with the current incarnation of my story, and I know now that I was right – it needs to be longer, and more to the point it needs to get back some of the stuff I tore out of it so mercilessly, while losing some of the stuff I kept in. Or maybe I just want it. I don’t know. I don’t fucking know.
All I know is that I finished reading it this time around and even though I felt rather removed and wasn’t paying as close attention as I would have liked I still got chills at the end, and I’m taking that as a sign that this story has an ending that I want to work towards. An ending worth earning.
The sense of removal I felt while reading it this time around was a double-edged sword: on the one hand I was far less critical about some pretty big issues I’d had the first time around, simply because I wasn’t so sensitive to their rupturing presence. On the other hand, I have a much less clear idea of the changes I want to make, though I do know that some of the changes I wanted to make originally I now think are unnecessary, perhaps even detrimental.
I JUST DON’T KNOW WHICH ONES HAHAHAFUCKEVERYTHIIIIIIIINGGGGGGGG
Well, now the question is whether I let it sit for a while and come back to it or just keep going. I think the answer is to keep going. My character-map idea that I ended up giving up on at around the halfway point did tell me one thing: expansion would help things a lot. In fact I may even go back and finish it – without taking notes again – and see what I find. The first time I read through this revision, there were moments in the first half of the story where things looked like they could take off and go somewhere really interesting but never did . I didn’t recognise them this time around and I want to locate them again.
The only issue there is that I know they’ll take me away from the story I’ve got, and part of me really wants that to happen, wants something better than what I’ve got, something that answers more questions and satisfies more curiosity. I want to take these threads and run with them, see how they unravel and how I could put them back together to make a better tapestry.
But that ending …
Maybe that’s the answer.
Maybe I have to start at the end.
WHY ISN’T THIS EASY TO WORK OUT
Well, whatever I do, it has to benefit the heart of the story. I identified it once before, and while it’s still a mantra in my mind, I probably need to refresh my connection to it so that I can let it guide me.
But for tonight at least, I’m done. There is nothing I can accomplish between now and midnight that I can’t accomplish better tomorrow. I might go read through the folders I made in Scrivener for the character-arc stuff, just because I’m interested to see if any of it is useful. It actually shouldn’t take very long. But no more planning tonight. I can enjoy having finished something while I have the opportunity.
Facing the blank drawing-board once again certainly brings a certain familiar panic, but every time it returns to this point I’m sightly better-prepared to face it than I was before. I guess that’s going to have to be good enough.
The road goes ever on and on …