Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Seeds of Destiny

It’s an old writers’ fallback that setting a manuscript aside for a while and coming back to it with fresh eyes is a good thing.

It’s an even better thing if, as is discovered by Farmer Hoggett, as you put that manuscript away you have little ideas that tickle and nudge and refuse to go away.

I’m feeling that way about “Doleful Creatures.” Ideas keep coming. Things the characters need to do or say or be. And they all keep clicking into place in my head and (much more importantly) in the notes I’ve been taking, independent of looking at the manuscript again, like one of those little games in which you have to roll the BBs into the holes.

I take this all as a good sign that I’ve got a book that’s a keeper. Or at least the seeds of a book that’s a keeper.

And it’s not just additions that keep coming to mind. It’s subtractions. I’ll be hit out of the blue by thought like, “Eh, that chapter, it could go and nobody would miss it. Not even me.” I know when I revised the book last year I subtracted enough and added enough that I used it as my NaNoWriMo entry without feeling guilty; it was a new book by the time November was over. The process of pruning and splicing continues.

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