Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Self-indulgence

I've been working on Madison this past week. I've done two month's editing work on Areia and I'm 132 pages into a 1,309 page book. At this rate, I won't finish editing until . . . crap! I actually hadn't figured it out until now: It's going to take me another 20 months! Okay, breathe. In. Out. I'm okay. Hopefully it is only these early chapters that are taking so long because there's a lot of rewrite/shuffling to do. The later chapters should, I dearly hope, not take nearly as long!

Deep breaths. Really. I'm okay.

Anyway, I decided to take a break and work on Madison. By the time I neared the end of writing Madison, I knew that the beginning was going to need some hacking and slashing to get the pacing right. I'd even decided what scene to cut and had gone so far as to cut it and start rearranging information before I finally settled on working on Areia first. So when I went back to look over the first chapter and reacquaint myself with where to begin, I reread that cut scene. And I wanted it back.

I love the scene. It's witty. It's a great character-building scene. There's a lot of information that gets revealed during dialog. I love two of the characters that are only on-page during this scene. I cracked myself up with the scene. I mean, it was great. Only, it makes the beginning about twenty pages too long.

Two days ago I tried, again, to make it work. I rearranged and squished and pulled information from other scenes into this one, all in the hopes that it would somehow be short enough to keep. Yesterday, I reread it and realized what I'd known all along: I was merely indulging my ego. It doesn't work. It doesn't fit. I want it in there because I want people to see the great dialog/phrases/descriptions I created. Yeah, I moped. Then I got back to work again today and pushed past that scene and realized that some of it I can keep. Some of it I can place in bits and pieces throughout other scenes. And some of it I still hold secret hopes to use in the next novel. In the end, I'm a happy girl again (but you're glad you weren't here yesterday :) ).

(Damn, I'm still reeling from the 20 months revelation!)

3 comments:

Kate said...

I am sorry about that scene. If it helps, I went through a similar thing with a backstory about Casey and Kinsey, and ended up condensing a HUGE chunk I'd written for them into about a paragraph. But it was worthwhile when your notes pointed out that very paragraph and how you liked all the history it communicated in such a succinct way. :) So at least my efforts ended up helping!

Amanda said...

Even though you loved that scene for its wit, I bet you that your cleverness shows up more than you realize throughout the book. Your talent will shine through no matter what. :)

Rebecca Chastain said...

I don't think that listening to Christmas music is nerdy! (Maybe I'm a nerd for admitting that. :) I usually get a hankering for Christmas music sometime in July (last year it was August) and I spend several days getting indulgent you're-so-weird looks from Cody while I bob around the house to songs about snow when it's 100+ degrees outside.

Plus, I just used the word "hankering" so who's the nerd now?