Hey, folks. It’s been a while since a I had a normal post, so I thought I’d take some time to give you all an update on TLM’s status, and to get some things off my chest.
On Monday I tentatively completed edits of Ch.4. I’m not happy with them (I’ll come back to this in a moment), but I got through it. This chapter was a long one, clocking in at 10k words, and I wanted to trim it down as much as possible. The rewrites and tweaks to the plot line made these cuts a little easier, but I still had to deliberate on new material to fill in the gaps of the scenes that were cut. In the end, I cut it down to about 6.5k words.
However, I realized I was starting to lose sight of the “big picture,” so I decided to take some time and read through what’s been edited so far. I did that last night, reading through the prologue and all four chapters.
The prologue and first three chapters are solid. The 4th chapter, however, is not. It’s all over the place, and ignores the main points which are so tightly woven through the previous three. On top of that, I’m not really feeling the changes I made anyway, so . . .
I’m rewriting it. Well, most of it. I outlined a new path this morning. Plotting a novel is one thing–you’ve got a wide story arc over all, with plenty of growth between the beginning and the end. Reshaping a chapter with its own mini-arc to fit seamlessly between two solid chapters is much trickier, and much more difficult.
Amelia and I decided last summer that taking a slower approach with the TLM edits was best, and I still agree with that decision. However, I didn’t anticipate reaching a stalemate with myself over changes that would have to be made.
You’d think I’d be used to this by now, but I’m not. I hate backtracking, and I hate being indeciscive. I’m an impatient person. Just ask my wife–she’ll agree.
Years ago, what I wrote was law, but now everything I write is subject to change. I can’t help but examine a dozen different possibilities for a character’s course of action, and to do that also means examining the repercussions of said actions. I can’t write them all down, though, or else I’d never finish anything. So I pick a direction and go with it. Lately it seems I keep picking the wrong ones, and it’s frustrating the hell out of me. It only makes me question myself even more.
So tell me something, writers. Do any of you suffer from second-guessing your decisions? Does it ever make you wonder why you keep doing this to yourself?
Sound off. Please reassure me that I’m not alone.
P.S. Sorry this turned into a rant. I just needed to vent. Thanks for reading.