Writing stories is, as I’ve mentioned a lot on here, a very weird proposition. It isn’t normal to assume that one can pause time, relocate people, drastically alter personalities and more or less play god whenever one wants. Even when I’m reading fiction I don’t usually think about how to change the plot of what I’m reading or want to see what a certain character might look like cast in a different role. It happens sometimes, mind you, usually while reading bad fiction, but for the most part when I’m in competent hands the story seems to be immortal, like something locked in place that couldn’t possibly have played out any differently.
I babble like this in order to explain the current kurfuffle going on in my book. I thought I was so close to wrapping this thing up when suddenly I got to the second to last section and decided, quite abruptly, that I wanted to screw around with it. Yes I just used the word kurfuffle. I wanted to screw around with my first draft and not in a simple, rewriting sort of way, but in a major overhaul sort of way.
A story is a journey, your characters are constantly moving forward, and even though there might not be an actual physical journey involved there is still movement through time and emotion until an end point is reached. And I had that all mapped out. Sort of like this helpful visual aid:
That’s the current section of my story. The road behind my characters are all the sections before it and the road after the bridge is the final section. And those pieces of unseen road, those other sections, all have landmarks and events and what have you of their own, butthe current section in my first draft happened to have a bridge to be crossed. Now in the normal course of rewrites I might get to this point and decide that the bridge is the wrong color or that it should be bigger or that it’s not a suspension bridge or whatever, but those are just minor fixes.
Instead what happened was I looked at the section and decided that I hated the bridge. All of it.
Which looked something like this:
Now the road after the bridge is just fine. It will need, naturally, it’s own minor tweaking, but I wasn’t in love with how I got there. So the whole thing went kablooie. The bridge (which is just a metaphor…not sure if I’ve gotten that across) wasn’t what was needed. It was boring and didn’t allow me to explore what needed exploring and it shunted some characters into weird roles that I thought were untrue.
But a dirigible? Now a dirigible race across that river, now there’s a good idea. Sort of like this:
The space still gets traversed but in a much more interesting way.
And so the entire section has been rewritten. It was a huge change and ate up far more time than I expected.
However, and here’s the good news, once I get that dirigible to the other side then I’m back on track with the original road. Which means the process speeds up again and we’ll be on the fast path to release. Which is something I am looking forward to greatly.
But I wanted to explain the delay and assure you that this dirigible part is waaaaay better than the stupid bridge was.