Nailing my thumb to the wall

By Holly Lisle

So here’s the process I’m going through in order to skip revising the second section of the novel before I’ve finished the rest of first draft.

  • Write a single sentence encompassing what I want each existing scene to become.
     
  • Try to match that sentence to the characters and action already existing in the story.
     
  • When I can’t, then come up with a new sentence that fits the spiffy new first part of the book without breaking more of the existing writing than is ABSOLUTELY necessary.
     
  • Avoid touching a single word in the existing draft, no matter how tempting, even as I hear the tinkling of broken scenes shattering to the floor with every spiffy new scene I devise.
     
  • Maintain my equanimity while seeing whole buckety craploads of words headed for their doom.
     
  • Mutter imprecations and profanities at the idiot who wrote some of the stuff I’m dealing with.
     
  • Realize that repeatedly nailing my thumb to the wall is not the wacky good time it’s reputed to be, and determine that I’m going to have to get out a notebook and PHYSICAL index cards, and work this out in realspace before I’m actually ready to face the new scenes I need to write.

Hope your writing went better.

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