No, I didn’t forget to finish that sentence. Because it’s not a sentence. It’s a collection of words with which I am currently engaged in mortal combat.
Every writer has words like these, words they throw in all over the place which serve little purpose, words which can usually be cut to make the writing tighter. These are some of mine, and now that I’m in the final stages of my novel and I’ve done all the major cutting and rearranging and wailing and gnashing of teeth, it’s time for the small stuff. It’s time for these words to be hunted down and destroyed.
I’ve finished the first draft of my work-in-progress (too early to call it a novel at this stage). It needs a fair bit of re-shaping and editing, but it’s taking on novel-like qualities, which is pleasing.
In the first-draft stage, I’ve been trying a new approach. Rather than getting bogged down trying to find the right words at each point, I’m letting myself construct a scaffolding, sketching out just the bare bones at points, and then keep going. So there are points in the manuscript where I’ve written things like ‘S says why doesn’t B just get over it etc’ or ‘Stuff here about L, maybe go back to rock part?’ and then moved on.
Izzie continues to resist me. She wants to go this way, then that, then back the other way. Remember those old Choose Your Own Adventure Books (if you open the door, turn to page 18; if you turn around and go back to the hotel, turn to page 27, and so on). I was always very reluctant to commit to what might be unwise decisions, and would keep a finger in every page, so I could go back to key points and undo the choices that had led to my untimely death (I also used to make massive charts of which paths led where and all the complex ways in which they intersected, but that’s another book-geek story altogether).