It’s February now, which means Project 2012 is moving from the read through to focussing on the big picture. This means looking at scenes, characters, and the entire story as a whole.
It’s like I’ve built a house. The house is okay. It’s liveable. But it’s just okay. It’s not perfect, not even near it. It’s not a great house. Just “all right, I guess…*”. To make the house the best house in the world, it’s going to need a lot of work. A massive renovation job. Mostly little things, like making a bedroom a bit bigger, adding a spa and a swimming pool. Maybe putting some bigger windows in to take advantages of the view. But then there’s some big things. Like tearing out entire walls. And I’m scared to knock out the walls, because what if the house falls down? Suddenly I’d have gone from having an okay house to a pile of rubble.
This is how I’m feeling with my manuscript. It’s okay. It’s “all right, I guess…*”. But it needs to be the best book in the world (or at least the best book I’ve ever written). This means a lot of work. Character arcs redone, characters fleshed out, chapters rewritten. Deep down inside I also know there’s bigger issues which need to be addressed. But it’s like I’m blinded to them. I’m purposely not seeing them.
With my house, it’s like I’m keeping away from one end of the building so that I don’t look at that wall that looks like it’s about to fall down. Because if I don’t see the wall, then I can’t be sure that it’s about to fall over, which means I don’t have to tear it out and risk end up being crushed by debris.
But I know I’m going to have to force myself to eventually inspect that wall. Sooner or later someone else is going to see that wall and wonder why it’s going to collapse and kill the neighbour’s cat.
Likewise, I have to address the bigger issues of EXCALIBUR before someone else spots them. Which is hard, yanno? Because I feel that if I play around with the structure too much, I’m going to end up with 80,000 words. Not a story, just 80,000 individual words. That’s scary.
So, yeah, that’s how I’m feeling right now. I’ll be able to address the bigger issues, but it’s going to be hard to face it. For the comments: Have you ever had to do anything like this? How did you go? Was it hard, or pretty simple once you got started? Let me know!
* Said in a really non-committal tone.