Remember my post from a couple of weeks ago, “Adventures in Writing“? I told you I was trying to write without going back to edit, that I knew my first chapter in Riding Herd was awful and would need changing, but I intended to forge ahead and fix it later.
I lied. Talk about the whopper of all fish tales!
Aside from the fact the first chapter reeked like fermented catfish bait, it introduced a subplot that no longer fit with the direction the story was taking. Too much going on to weave that thread smoothly into place. It had to go–which meant every reference to it had to go too.
No matter how hard I tried, knowledge of this hovered over my head like a drone with a recorded message: Ain’t gonna work, gal. Give it up. I was completely stymied. I couldn’t go forward unless I dealt with what I’d written in the past (kinda like a sin that needs to be forgiven and rectified before your prayers stop bouncing off the ceiling and you can move on).
I could no longer ignore the need to edit. So, last Friday, I gave up on the idea of writing in haste and editing in leisure. I’ll still edit in leisure once this thing is finished, but the “writing in haste” part bit the dust. I couldn’t stand it any longer. I ripped out the first chapter entirely and reconstructed the second chapter to function in its place. It’ll have to be rewritten and polished, of course, but at least it won’t nag at me as I concentrate on the plot and remaining subplot. Now I’m stripping out all the remnants and dealing with the logistics of dialogue based on its previous existence.
The good news is that I was only a quarter into the story, so it won’t take long to edit out all the bad stuff relating to that one subplot. The bad news is that I’m only a quarter into the story, with a pie-in-the-sky deadline of March 31st to finish–and “finish” here includes my first full edit before I send it to my critters.
But I refuse to give up! Even though I will be gone for two weeks out of the next six, I intend to write the end by March 31. The edit itself may not happen until April, but I still want to have it finished by the end of March.
Hold me accountable, people!