Monday, August 11, 2014

Abstract Thoughts: My Bad

Wisdom of an Inner Editor
NOTE FROM RENEE: We're baaaaaack! Long-Suffering Husband has finished nursing me back to health following my surgery (he makes a very high quality nurse, by the way) and it's time to resume regular writing and blogging schedules. I thought about doing some kind of welcome back post, but then I decided that this little paragraph about covered it. So instead I'm just going to let the Inner Editor dive right in with her latest update.

Distance offers a new perspective, both in the real world and here in the imaginary one. This is why writers are advised to put a finished draft aside for a while before revising it. Letting it sit allows the writer to view things objectively later.

This is not, however, the best advice to heed in the middle of a writing project. At least not so far as Renee is concerned. She does her best work when she keeps her head down and focuses on moving forward as fast as she can. Otherwise she gets distracted by. . .  well. . . me.

I can't help myself. I'm an Inner Editor. I edit. When Renee is writing along full steam ahead, it's fine, because there's always new text to look through. I make little notes for myself and move on with no one any the wiser.

But when things come to a standstill (like, for example, when Renee takes a month off to recover from major surgery) I end up with a lot of time on my hands. And when I have time on my hands, those little notes get bigger.

It's only a matter of time before Renee notices one or two of them.

The first half of Guardian is going to need major rewrites. It just is. The focus of the first 30000 words or so is on the wrong thing. And there's a major character who was introduced too early and so all of his scenes need to be restructured and moved around.

It will be a lot of work.

Little tweaks here and there are easy for Renee to ignore while writing the zero draft. Major shifts, though, have their own kind of gravity. They drag Renee's focus away from writing the next scene and it becomes impossible for her to build up forward momentum.

We've been at this long enough now to recognize when it's better for Renee to give in and fix the problems rather than trying to fight her way out. So Guardian is on hold until we replot it and get the first half rewritten.

While we're letting the potential changes simmer, we're going to bang out the zero draft of a short story we're currently calling "Fishwife". (Because when you can't come up with a good title, it's easier just to temporarily assign a bad one.) Agent Vandekone keeps poking the Muse, insisting there was more to that murdered mermaid flash fiction we wrote a few months ago.

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