One step forward, two steps back — and the middle part of the middle book of the Ohio series

Yesterday after I finished writing and shut down for the day, I ran through what I’d done and realized that I’d introduced an element into my story that would, if I kept writing it, take the series in a wrong direction. I hated where the series would go with if I held onto those words. When I followed them to their inevitable conclusion, the worldbuildng they introduced would make me hate the series.

Today I went in, dropped back to yesterday’s words, read all the new stuff, and saw that the damage was more extensive than I’d imagined. Having a pretty good idea of where I wanted to go, I started cutting, and then writing in new words.

Fixing. Worldbuilding. Replotting, and then writing in replacement material…

And fixing came with a hefty price tag.

Yesterday, I finished with 60,034 words.

Today, I cut out the smallest amount I could (good surgical practice — don’t remove healthy tissue).

And wrote.

And then ran into the event cascade from my decisions yesterday.

Had to cut more.

Wrote more.

Cut more.

And at the end of three hours, I game out of the mess with 60,419 words total, a net gain of 385 words, and I THINK I’ve removed all the clots and twisted, inflexible scar tissue, and necrotic crud, and anything else that might leak poison into the rest of the series.

I say this knowing that when I come back in tomorrow and do my read-through of what I wrote today, I might find some shit that is still leaning on what broke, and that’s going to have to be ripped out or restructured.

Was not a great, awesome, joyful day. But fixing what broke is part of the gig, and fixing it before it has a chance to break the rest of the series was the best outcome I could hope for.

Maybe tomorrow will flow.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.


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