Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I posted earlier this week about how I was finished with the first draft of my WIP. I spent Monday editing the first chapter and Tuesday editing chapters two and three. Late Tuesday afternoon I realized something was majorly wrong with my story. I put my thinking cap on and no matter how I spun it, something seemed off. My worst fear has come to fruition: I have a character who doesn't belong in my story.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry. I did. For a long, long time. I know I'm not the first writer that this has happened to and I know I won't be the last, but dang this hurts.
I spent the rest of the night last night trying to think of how to make it work, how to keep him in the story. It would be so much easier to just keep him and let it go, but I can't do that. I don't do anything halfway (or the easy way, apparently). The bad thing is, this kid wasn't just a minor character, he was a very influential character and is in most of the major scenes in the book. He was the main love interest.
I didn't set out to write a love interest into my WIP, it just kind of happened. I think I had read a book that was really romanc-y and I still had romance on the brain and this hot guy made an appearance and just kind of never left. The sad thing is I think subconsciously I've known for a while, but I liked his character so much I never dreamed I could get rid of him or the story could work without him, when in reality the story didn't work with him.
So after much crying and ice cream eating my decision was made to give him the ax. In making this decision I decided to simply start over. Yes I am starting from scratch. I have been working on this WIP for over four months, and this has shaken me to my core. I know I'm not the first person to ever toss a draft, but I am seriously hacked off at myself.
I wrote the ending and the beginning of draft 2.0 and you want to know something? It's so much better. That stupid boy was clouding my judgment so much it made me lose sight of the real story I was trying to tell. And while I'm still really upset with myself for letting it go on for so long, I think it may have been a little good for me to completely toss this first draft. I need to learn not to become so attached to characters or words or scenes that I can't simply chunk them and move on. This has been a tough lesson to learn, and I'm still learning it, but I'm becoming more and more okay with it. I think. I guess I learned the hard way that sometimes you have to kill your darlings.
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