What I’m writing: honesty

I’m not going to share an excerpt with you today. Instead, I just want to talk about what I’m working on.

My book, Home, started out of a conversation I had with a good friend about how sometimes I just want to stay home all the time. I got to thinking about how easy that would be to do these days– especially if you don’t have a family and work from home. And Ashley (the main character) was born.

The story progressed and I wrote the entire first draft in just a few months. By far the longest and most complete first draft I had ever done.

Then I started to revise.

Now, the story has changed. Ashley no longer has a sister, she has a brother. Her boss, who in the first incantation was a one-time love interest but otherwise a very minor character, is a felon, and Ashley may be implicated in his crimes simply for being so close to him.

All of these middle details have changed, but (as of right now) I still feel like the end of the book is essentially written. Which means I have to completely change the story to get from point A to point C.

I started out trying to take the material that I already had and make minor changes/additions. I realized this week that isn’t working for me. I am going to need to essentially throw away the middle of my story and re-write it.

I’m going to be honest here: this really sucks.

I wrote some good stuff.

Yesterday, I spent much of the swinging back and forth on the decision pendulum on whether I should keep the original story structure and just work on strengthening it as it is, rather than starting from scratch. It would be so much easier. It would take so much less time. It would mean the book would be done soon.

Then I remembered what I had read somewhere, I can’t remember where, or the exact quote, but the gist of it is: To get to your best writing, you’re going to have to trash a lot of really good writing.

So I’m going to trust the process (even if I don’t trust my self) and start over. I sat down this afternoon and already mind-mapped the majority of the new story, so it’s up to me to write it.

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