“Beginnings” is teaching me a lot of things that will have an effect on the Apples. Namely that writing in the correct order of things works better for the first draft than haphazardly jumping around in the time line. I also learned a thing or two about pacing. After three days (1) of vacation, the muse suggested thinking about the Apples and their bloated plot. This morning, while the glorious Sunday quiet was still around (2) I took pen and paper and roughly plotted the whole Book One as if I hadn’t already written 53.638 words for it. After two months of not looking at it, I had enough emotional distance to realise that I need to start afresh. And write it in one sitting (3) without changing the course, goddammit.
When I look back to what my original idea was and what the book is now, there’s barely a resemblance anymore. But writing and re-writing and adding pieces here and there lead to a massive ball of tangled yarn, and sometimes you need to take the scissors to it to salvage it. Which doesn’t mean I’ve written those 53.638 words for naught. Written words are always there for a reason, always have a purpose. Even if this purpose is just to teach me how I should not write. Even if they’re just end up to be a slightly overly detailed outline. Even if I just needed to write them to learn what’s important for the story and what isn’t. (4)
I’m not going to lie – it hurts. This feels like carving into your heart with a very sharp knife. There are scenes in there I spent a lot of time with, that are near and dear to my heart, and nobody’s going to read them. Oh well, they always say the first book is only written for the desk drawer. Onwards and upwards and I’m sure my muse will come up with cuter, funnier, sexier scenes for the new rendition. After all, I’m a better writer now than when I started.
The good news? The current plot estimates around 50.000 words – I can write it in three months, if I can keep up the rhythm I established while writing “Beginnings”. This means you still get to read it this year!!!
“Beginnings” is shaping up quite nicely by the way, currently sitting at 25.034 words. To my great surprise, it is not just a fluffy cloud of cute encounters between Nate and Adelie (5), and even though there’s not much of a plot there are some interesting threads I might explore further, once I’m done with the first draft. First draft first, then revising. *mantra* “Beginnings” is not going to suffer from the same fate as the Apples, oh no.
(1) This seems to be the magic number…
(2) Even the neighbourhood’s posse of kids is still asleep at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, ha!
(3) Meaning from start to finish.
(4) 8000 words of bedroom sport aren’t. No matter how much fun they were to write.
(5) Which was the original purpose, after all.