Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sometimes it's best to let things go

I suppose that's a rather ominous title for a post after more than a month of absence from blogdom, however, I'm not referring to the blog.  In my absence I've continued to write (or rather, edit my novel) daily, sometimes a lot and sometimes a little.

For the last week and a half, it's been on the "little" side.  I've been working on a chapter that just hasn't been working.  As I set to correct the little details and bring it into line with some changes I made earlier in the book, I just haven't been motivated.  I've wasted time.  I've stalled.  I've finally forced myself to focus, gotten through a small passage, and declared my obligation "done," though in the weakest sense of the word.  Today, however, as I stared at the screen with all signs pointing toward another day of editing doldrums, I suddenly realized that if this chapter has been boring me so much (the first moment I realized it even was boring me), then it probably ought to just be cut.  I could start the chapter later and add a few paragraphs of summary, and instead of dragging me (and very likely, my readers) down, it would arise stronger, tighter, and as a better read.  Hooray!

Except that now I feel like I've wasted the last week and a half.  All that time spent arduously ironing out prose that isn't even going to make it.  My husband tells me they weren't wasted, that I needed that time with the work stewing in my mind before the solution could come to me.  Wise words.  Slightly tempers the disappointment.

Anyway, after restarting the chapter, cutting a little here, pasting a little there, and writing brief summaries, I turned 900 words into 200.  And regained my enthusiasm to keep going.  So it was the right thing to do, but boy, it can be hard to throw out that much work.  Especially recent work.  Such is the work we do.

Now to see if anybody's still reading!


Ink in the Book said...

I hate throwing out words:( I always try to re work them but in the end if they must go, then I cut them. And then quickly apply some iodine and and a bandaid:)
Happy revisions:)

Angela Brown said...

Your husband's words could not have been truer, though it still sucks to throw away words.

In more cases than not, you'll see the benefit and be happier for it.