Break on Through
Reading and revising whole swaths of the novel, especially, I imagine, when the book is so damn big, is proving to be a very unique challenge. After reading and making a detailed plot outline of the next seven chapters, I thought I was stuck. There were so many options to consider. So many things that needed changing alongside twice as many items that could be removed, enlarged, lessened, or switched around. Everything seemed like it was dependent on something else. It started to feel like the end of a very long and nasty Jenga game.
Looking back, I feel more like I was a computer struggling to run too much software all at once. Last night, everything suddenly clicked. It just goes to show you, keep thinking about it, don't fret over walking away and let it stew, come back to it and try to write down ideas. I was in the middle of copying a brainstorm from my white board on to a sheet of paper when everything just started to make sense. It was a solution that both Mary and my brother-in-law Joe had suggested. The problem was, I couldn't just delete one section and change where a character is introduced. It sounded good in theory, to streamline the plot, cut the length of the overall book and drive the action a bit faster, but it just didn't make sense in my head. You see, on the writer's end it can never be as simple as a mere copy/paste. I had to understand what this change meant for every character. I had to not just know what the change was but how and why it was occurring. How could it actually happen this new way? I had to envision it on the paper, hear the characters speaking in my head and see them preforming these actions with total autonomy of purpose and reason. I had to know why everything was happening from the POV of every character to the over-arching theme of the book. And that's just what happened last night. The puzzle pieces made a whole.
Pic of the massive brainstorm/prewriting session:
Lots to do now. Been working on it some to day (got those two more boxes in the upper right checked off). My target for completing this and the next few chapters that will take me to the old half way point of the book is between June 20 and 25th.
Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished novelist.