“That scene doesn’t fit here. Remember what happened in chapter five—or was it nine?”
“Are you sure that character’s emotional response rings true at this point in the story?”
“All right, but if you keep that brilliant bit you just wrote, you’ll have to revise the subplot.”
I type her jabs into comments in the manuscript, and then I tell myself to keep writing and deal with those problems later. And I do keep writing, but all her jabs accumulated back there in the dark recesses of later, and started haunting me. A few nights ago, I woke myself worrying I might not be able to sort this book out. What if it’s too discombobulated to fix?
Then my inner cheerleader said:
“Oh pish posh, you can do it! You’re a WRITER! Remember how you had to cut and tape together your last novel? Rah, rah, sis boom bah!”
Wait! What was that about cutting and taping? I did that? Yes I did, but I’d completely forgotten. Have you ever heard a writer compare the process of writing and publishing a book to pregnancy and birth? To continue that analogy, after you have your
bundle of joy book in your hands, you tend to gloss over the worst parts of getting to that point.
Indeed, I’d forgotten there was a point in editing The Brevity of Roses where I printed it out and then sat down with scissors and tape organize some of the scenes, and even paragraphs, in better order. I couldn’t seem to accomplish that scrolling back and forth on the computer. My manuscript was a chopped mess for a while, but I worked it out. Rah, rah and all that jazz!
I hope none of you have to resort to scissors and tape, but if you do, take heart. You can fix it. You’re a WRITER!