Updates, Writing Process

Revision Diaries: When half the book doesn’t work anymore.

I’m in the depths of my third read and the spreadsheet that accompanies it. That means I’m taking a very hard look at what is working, what isn’t, and what each scene needs in order to actually work. For almost half of my book, that means being cut.

When I tried my rewrite in June, I added another timeline to make some of the emotional decisions that my main character made make more sense. While I learned a lot about the character, the plot line that got added was not the one. So, it’s coming out.

However, during this read, I’m learning that I had the big climactic event I needed to focus on all along. So that gets to be rewoven in. I’m currently on the fence about whether to keep my two timelines, and where to merge them if I do keep them. I’m leaning towards keeping it, so the merge will be the more important part.

I have a lot of feelings about losing half the book. But also, I should stop thinking of it as “losing half the book” ahaha. There were a lot of really great ideas and lines in that half of content. So I’m not losing anything, I’m changing it.

One of the other writers in the course reminded us that caterpillars are literally disintegrated into goop before they are reformed into butterflies. If we’re feeling like parts of our book are goop, it’s a natural process during the evolutionary phase to be something beautiful. We’re using all the parts we are seemingly discarding to create the new beautiful book that will take flight. Metaphors aside, it is helpful to know that all the hard work is getting us somewhere.

So, the scenes aren’t being cut, they’re being changed. They’re being broken down into what they were trying to accomplish, and if that no longer needs to happen, there might be a sentence or two I can still reform to be used later on as inspiration.

Is there a revision mindset you’re getting over? How do you take on your revisions? How’s progress going for you?

Happy Writing/Revising!

Rachel

2 thoughts on “Revision Diaries: When half the book doesn’t work anymore.”

  1. I both love and hate revisions. I fall in love with a storyline but it simply does not work. I’m loathe to revise it at first. When I become open to revision, my story can take on an unexpected direction that is wonderful.

    Like

    1. I’m hoping this is what’s to come for me as well. It looks like my story is about to turn into something I didn’t expect at first glance, so I’m going to follow that for now and hope for the best!

      Liked by 1 person

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