So, I had over 20,000 words hacked out on Brother Bewildered, and although I sort of liked some of the scenes, overall I felt that what I had was just wrong. I didn’t like the opening, and since everything was flowing from that opening, it felt like I had set course for Wrong and unless I went back and started over, I would have no chance to get to Right.
That maybe makes no sense. One thing about me is that I usually just write, write and write some more. Then, for the passion projects like Brother Bewitched, I go back and rework things. The initial draft of Brother Bewitched, for example, was 60,000 words. After getting feedback from some beta readers, I cut 10,000 words and then added 40,000 words, creating a final manuscript I felt good about.
So, part of me said– just keep writing. But I couldn’t. It was all wrong, and I did not feel it could be fixed. So, I started over. I created a new document and stared at a new blank page, and I began to write again, putting aside me regret at those lost 20,000 words, at all that work. I just started at zero, because I felt I had to do so.
It’s hard not to feel those 20,000 words amount to a tremendous waste of time. But, they really weren’t. I write mainly because I love writing, and the publishing side is almost a second hobby. But I was immersed in my story, and feeling good about it and about life as I was writing, and those hours of enjoyment were real, and they happened, and that’s all great. In addition, I learned a bit from those 20,000 words, and the new version is better because I spent that time and found a wrong way. I say a wrong way because there isn’t just one.
Now, I am writing away, enjoying the experiencing, and my characters are surprising me as they decide to go different directions than what I had planned, to pursue different dreams, and the whole thing is unfolding and it’s like I am reading it as I am writing it– or maybe watching a movie version which I am transcribing. I am very lucky to have a wild imagination, and especially at my age where I feel many of my peers have calcified minds. My imagination is not only vibrant but out of control, and I have to reign it in sometimes just to stay in touch with reality.
Anyway, just wanted to post an update. Now, I need to get back to The Shattered Isles, where Serren finds himself attending yet another baby shower while Pattenia marches off to war.
If you haven’t read it yet, check out Brother Bewitched to find out how Prince Serren found himself trapped in dresses while his sister seized the crown!