So this is a fraction of the disaster I’m trying to sort through. Notes dating back to 2005, notecarded scenes with the focus on the wrong POV character, things happening in a city I’ve never been to. Even just reading through the manuscript is a challenge because there are multiple versions of it. I’ve spent the past few days sifting through it all and working on an outline, and what I’ve found is that I’m basically starting the whole thing over.
The biggest change since I first wrote it is the small matter of whose story it is, which changed what kind of book it is (for the better). I’ve beefed up the bad guys, named all of my worlds, added twists and turns and other cool shit. I’m surprised at how well this is going. I mean, seven years of thinking about this thing off and on, and it’s only now starting to come together, but it’s doing it in a big way. I’m genuinely excited about this story. It seems that most of the existing 55,000 words are going to have to be tossed out, but that’s okay. We’ll call that a practice run. I’m a better writer now than I was in 2005 anyway.
The novel is consuming a whole lot of brain space right now, but of course life remains in session: Saturday was my oldest daughter’s prom, my youngest has her 4th grade California Mission project* due this week, the car remains in the shop until Tuesday, the home loan is still pending…the list of fairly major life events pending goes on. Plus John and I have a workshop coming up very quickly (he’s teaching, I’m attending). I’m not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg, but I seem to have a lot more energy for everything else when I’m enthusiastic about a writing project and making progress on it. So for now it all seems manageable.
*For those who grew up in or are raising children in the California public school system, this is a familiar assignment.