I rewrote chapter 1 of Tallulah a couple of days ago, and it felt – mostly – better. Cleaner. Tighter. More to the point and in-keeping with its core.
Now I’m on to chapter 2 and I hate what my plan is, so I suppose I either need a new plan for what happens in chapter 2 or to just suck it up and write it.
I could just skip ahead and write some other part of the story.
This is a solution that I have never taken while writing; I always write from start to finish, and while I have written out-of-sequence scenes for stories, most of the time they end up being stand-alone moments rather than part of a narrative, simply because up to this point I have never written the rest of those stories for them to link back into.
But in this case, it might be the best solution.
I mean it’s easy enough to just do away with the change I was going to make, or just find a way to do it better than what I have in mind right now, which is probably mostly unappealing because while I thought it would be a good idea, it’s not an idea that I like. So I’ll have to find some kind of balance there, and I’m not sure how that’s going to happen.
In the meantime, though, I’ve actually planned a fair bit of this second draft, so I could actually jump ahead and work on some stuff later down the line and not mess up the continuity. I think. I’m pretty sure. I’d just have to keep a record of what’s going on, which I should be doing anyway.
This feels new.
This feels like I’m actually not just going around in circles when I write, like I’m not learning anything ever and keep repeating the same cycles of dysfunction and frustration; and perhaps it’s not dysfunctional and I just judge my process very unkindly and/or inaccurately. In any event, I feel like I’ve actually learnt a new trick, and I’m kind of keen to try it out.
And ultimately, it means that the other stuff hasn’t changed, either – that eventually shit does get written, if I make myself write it.
I still think this draft is on the right track. I think it’s the right thing to do. And upon reflection, yeah, I do think I judge my process far too harshly. Stopping and starting is what happens when you think all you have to do is X, and then in attempting to do it you realise you needed to do W first, and it feels like you’re going backwards and it’s annoying. That’s how this feels. Except now I know I can skip right ahead to Z if I want, and both W and X will still be there when I get back.
Which is the other thing: this problem still needs to be addressed at some point. But I don’t have to do it now. It will hold things up at some point; but it doesn’t have to be now. And if it’s not now, if I go ahead and do the other thing instead, perhaps I’ll have thought of a solution by the time I’m done.
I believe this is what we call a win-win situation.
I believe I’m all right with that.