Tuesday, July 5, 2011

At it Again - like a true s&m gal I'm enjoying the flagellation of revising, reworking and destroying huge chunks of my manuscript

What a completely weird life this writing life is. Really. The main reason that I blog is that you all, well most of you, understand this. You understand why I went to a pow-wow by myself and have thrown out three chapters of my book. Thrown them out! Why? Because I have to write them all again. In a completely different way. And believe me when I tell you that I got most things about pow-wow right! Yes, the things I imagined (with plenty of research into the culture) were quite true to my experience on Saturday.
None the less, I have to begin again.
What this means in terms of my daily revising practice, is that I have skipped ahead to chapter 34, 35, 36. I copied those chapters and dropped them into a new document and now I'm destroying them and rewriting. It is scary and fun. Oh, don't worry - I have every darn iteration of this book. I don't kill my darlings; I move them to files called 'bits & pieces' or 'stuff hauled out for now' or 'gaaaack - what was I thinking?'.
When I'm not at my desk, say when I'm walking with Hoagy, or driving to my grandson's baseball practice - I'm muttering away  - trying different ideas. I'm tortured, my dears, simply tortured. I don't trust anything I've written or thought. I'm in the thick of it. But tortured though I am - I also feel...uh...good. Am I a sado-masochist? Really, am I?
How about you? Are you one?
OK - Gwen is here and we're ready to write - see you later...

12 comments:

Richard said...

I'm not a sado-masochist. I'm a masochist-sado.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Most interesting Jan, while I'm out and about I am always thinking about my next poem or perhaps an old memory pops into my mind that I can make a poem out of......and always the camera in my purse.

Have a lovely day.
Yvonne.

Carol Kilgore said...

Love your file names :)
I think we all do the same, one way or another.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Ha! I think I need one titled "gaaaack - what was I thinking?" :) No, I don't throw edited stuff out, either. It must be a sort of hoarding mentality--but for words!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Destroying huge chunks of my manuscript - that's funny! And yes, we totally understand. I say enjoy it.

Jan Morrison said...

Richard - interesting distinction!
Yvonne - I'm the same, speaking it through whatever is happening...
Carol - thank you. heh heh.
Elizabeth - why yes, we all do. Or 'eeeek, why am I keeping this?'
Diane - true dat. I am in some odd way.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I totally understand this. After viewing some procedures in airport security last week when we were traveling, I realized I have a couple of things in my plot that just aren't possible. This could mean a major rewrite instead of a revision. Sigh!

Liza said...

I went back to look at a chapter today and realized I hadn't written an entire part I had in my head. That's what I get for doing too much sleepless night plotting and not enough writing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I went through that not long ago. You can do it! Hack and slash.

DebraSun said...

The singing/chanting at the pow-wow raised the hair on my arms. So fantastic!

RosieC said...

I'm just a masochist. I get no pleasure from hurting others. Only in torturing myself.

I know exactly what you mean. I work in Scrivener, which gives me the option of having individual scenes divided in user-friendliness. When I rearrange something, I have a second Scriv file called "TITLE-Reserve" in which I can list the scene by chapter with a little blurb and a date from when I took it out from the main working doc. I can't delete anything. Ugh. It's good, though, and scary all at once.

Good luck with your editing/revising. I'm right in the thick of it with you.

Jill Kemerer said...

I've done this too--and I always have files I've cut/pasted paragraphs or scenes into. Sometimes we just know when something isn't working the way it could!

Good luck!