I have been having the nagging feeling that I don’t really have a *plot* in place here in this book. That’s not necessarily unusual for this stage: I’m about halfway through and I tend to lose confidence around here. So, in an attempt to shore up my confidence, I went and re-read the synopsis, which I’d been kind of deliberately ignoring because we’d changed a bunch of stuff around and the synopsis didn’t really reflect certainly the way the book ends anymore, at least.
Unfortunately, what it does reflect is a plot. One that is, in fact, missing from the book as it’s written. Part of me, right now, is going, “No, no, no! We can make it work! It’ll be okay! It’s going to be fine! Keep going!”
That’s the same part that felt vaguely uncomfortable with, and said the same thing about, HOUSE OF CARDS. Those of you who’ve been reading that long may remember that HoC got a revision letter back that said, “Take a look at these six things,” and the six things required me to throw out two thirds of the book and rewrite the remaining third so the book had a plot.
Do not let it be said I cannot learn from my mistakes. I will not keep going, blithely hoping that somehow nobody will notice the book is missing a plot, because somebody will. Instead I will now rewrite everything that I’ve written this year, on the order of 30K words.
The book is due February 28th.
I am so screwed.
Well, no. I’m not, because in fact the worst case scenario amount of rewriting means 3K a day, which I can *do*. I don’t particularly want to *have* to, but that’s what I get for fucking the book up. I am, however, plenty pissed off at myself, and not at all happy about this turn of events.
Know what the hardest part about this is? Not even having screwed up, not the rewriting, but the shaking off of the old story and *facing* having to start over. I want, very very badly, to be able to salvage what I’ve written, and I *can’t*. There are ideas in some of what I’ve done that are good, and I may be able to implement some of them, but I cannot let myself approach this from a ‘revise these scenes’ angle. I have got to go back and *rewrite* everything. A hundred and thirty pages. I swear to god, I could kill myself for stupidity right now.
All right. I am going to go upstairs and build a new directory for the revisions, put all the old stuff away, and try really hard to pretend it’s not there. And then I’m going to come down here, have lunch, and go back to work trying to pretend I haven’t done anything on this book for the last month and start anew.
(x-posted from the essential kit)