So, a few things have changed since I last posted here.
Not going to go down that road, though, as we’re already inundated with information on a daily basis, whether we want it or not.
Instead, one of the things I’ve been working on is trying once again to get my plot in order. And, you know. Finished.
I’ve made progress on that front, even though it’s not fully complete yet, but I managed to overcome a huge hurdle which I wasn’t even aware was there. That’s the inspiration for this post, and, while it’s far from anything novel (pardon the pun), it’s something I wanted to share with y’all.
We’re all heard the phrase “kill your darlings,” or variations thereof, from any number of sources. It’s something I’ve tried to heed myself, though I’ll admit that I usually only think about it in the context of characters I’ve created. I know it equally applies to sentences or phrases you think are awesome but are unnecessary, or purple prose, but I hadn’t properly considered my own situation until now.
Over the last year, in the pre-COVID-19 days, I enrolled in several writing classes, back-to-back. Four, I think? It’s been a while, but there were many. And, while they were awesome, more often than not I found myself writing to fulfill the weekly assignments and would jump ahead (or back) in sequence from where I was in my novel.
That wasn’t a bad thing, not at all. It pushed me to actually write, which I sorely needed. What I hadn’t thought about, however, was that all the scenes and chapters I wrote out of order? I don’t have to stitch them altogether and incorporate all of them into my work.
That sounds patently obvious as I read it out loud, but it honestly wasn’t until a few days ago. I’d been trying to make all the pieces fit together, with little to no progress, for a long time before I realized, hey. I’m the one who made those pieces; I can jam them together, tear them apart, or reshape them as I see fit. Or, hell, I can just throw them out and make brand new ones.
In realizing that, which I should’ve already known, I’ve already cleared a few hurdles early on in the story that were gnawing away at my brain. It allowed me to reconsider the antagonist, having an oracle/prophet-type character, and even the idea of using prophecies in the plot.
It’s still difficult in general to concentrate and write anything of any substance right now, at least for me, but having this click for me has been a huge deal. I need to be more persistent in my attempts to write, but I think this has opened the door for that to happen. All I’ve gotta do is walk through it.