Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chop And Change

At some point last year, I talked about a couple of my secondary characters in my WIP Second Nature and what pains in my ass they were being because I just couldn't figure out where their particular story lines were supposed to go. I knew where I wanted them to go but just couldn't seem to get them there. It inspired me to contemplate writing a big battle scene in which those characters would die a horrible, painful death just so I could be rid of them.

Unfortunately for this brilliant, if rash, plan, these two characters, while secondary, do have some importance to the novel and the rest of the series of which Second Nature is a part. So no big battle scene. This worked out because I had no idea how to get the pair of them onto the same battlefield. It's just not in the cards.

Instead I decided to try another approach. I'm having a 'let's throw everything against the wall and see what sticks' period in my life where writing is concerned and if there's something- a certain character, let's say for argument's sake- whose scenes just aren't working, even after months of me beating my brains out over them, it's time to cut them loose.

Sayonara, adios, adieu, good night and good luck because you're outta here.

And just like that, four chapters are gone. Poof.

All right, so they're not gone gone. There are back ups. Of course there are back ups and paper copies filed away with all the other deleted scenes. What do you think I am? Insane? Wait...don't answer that.

But wherever else they may dwell, they no longer exist in this current draft. This makes me nervous but I really believe it was the right decision. Those chapters weren't needed, at least not at this point, and if I wasn't such an anxiety ridden freak about these things, I'd probably notice the weight that's been lifted from my shoulders. I'd probably also remember the two pages of notes I just had to write down in the wee hours of the night because maybe, just maybe, removing those pages was just the battering ram I needed to break down the wall that is writer's block.

Too soon to tell, maybe, but I am encouraged. And that? That is a nice change.


  1. I can't imagine deleting four chapters! Good luck.

  2. I deleted four chapters, wrote a new one, deleted that one and am now thinking about cutting out even more. It's like that pringles commercial...once you pop, you can't stop.

    I have faith it'll all be for the best. And if it isn't, at least I have a back up.