As I noted in a recent blog, I was struggling with the manuscript. It wasn’t coming together and intuitively I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t know what.
Some might call it a writer block. I call it being brain dead and thought I was mentally tired from the effort to write the first draft. While it may not be physically tiring, writing/researching an initial draft of a novel is an adrenalin filled evolution and it is mentally taxing.
The break, if you want to call it, was over three days encompassing a weekend. I didn’t walk completely away, but didn’t write a word in the book. Instead, at private moments I talked to several of the characters. No, I am not crazy and you don’t have to send for the guys in white who have the jacket that zips in the back. What I was doing is trying to see what was happening through their eyes.
My original ideas for the events conflicted with what the characters were thinking and wanting to do. So, since as the writer, I have a bird’s eye view of the plot and intimately know the characters see, changes were needed.
Some of my original ideas wound up being deleted. New ones were created. Some still weren’t good enough. Others survived. What evolved after all the cut and pasting of the bullets that ‘outlined’ what would happen by each passage was a major change in direction of the story line. It wasn’t a reversal, but a course correction. Think in terms of a 30 to 45 degree heading change rather than a ninety-degree or even greater turn.
The next step was starting to write the passages. The first two I wrote worked, but it led to adding a more passages and fleshing out a few more Eventually, I think I got it right, but am not sure because I am not finished with the book. I still have to resolve what will happen with two or three of the characters. That, should come, as I write the last few chapters.
Net net, am back at it.