ellen mcbee

She's always up to something…

Tape flags, and more rewrites

on May 27, 2016

I’m starting to think this book is NEVER going to be finished.

Maybe I’ll be one of those people with a really exquisitely edited book, with gorgeous prose and poetic comparisons, and I’ll never think it’s perfect.

Except I don’t think I’m really working on perfect. Also, I love to read other people’s gorgeous, poetic prose, but that’s not what I do. I think this is more of a “Oh my God, I have to fix that!” reaction. This is happening about every third chapter. I’ve realized that I start nearly every chapter with exposition, explaining, sometimes description, or skipping through time. I have to skip through time because the story is September to May. But it’s the same lesson I had to learn about the first chapter; trust the reader to figure out what’s going on.

I have to say my rewrites are improving the story vastly. I want to have this book finished in six months and I’m starting to wonder if that’s going to happen; whenever I identify a big chunk that needs to be rewritten like this it usually takes me a couple of days to stop pouting and do it.

The section I’m working on right now is a two or maybe three chapter chunk (last half of Act II B) in which the narrative line falls apart and I just realized that two of my sub-plots fell right out of it! It’s a choppy section and I didn’t even see it until this readthrough. I’ve been doing most of the rewrites by hand (I’m still working with the book in a three-ring binder) but there’s so much to tackle I’m going to type it out. It’s kind of discouraging, but at the same time I know it’s going to make the story work better.

Oh–I’m still using the bullet journal. Admittedly, sometimes I mark off things I haven’t finished but have worked on today. I think it would be too discouraging to migrate the entire list every single day. And I bought some new Washi tape (shades of blue and green). And I started a new list: “Songs I Hate By Bands I Usually Like.” The first song: “Wait for Me” by Theory of a Deadman. Really? Basically, she’s home waiting and he’s glad she’s doing it, putting her own dreams and needs on hold so he can have what he needs? There’s too much of this going around, is all I can say. I listened to the words while it was playing and at the end I actually said, “Screw you, Tyler.”

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