I’ve flown around the world in a plane
I’ve settled revolutions in Spain
The North Pole I have charted, but I can’t get
started with you
Ella Fitzgerald sang it best with “I Can’t Get Started”; but while she may have been talking about a man, I’m talking about a book. My book. MARKED. True, I’ve written a first draft, thought I moved on to a second, even. Then I read The 90-Day Rewrite by Alan Watt. Boy, did he open my eyes–to everything I’ve done wrong.
I might be exaggerating a little. But when you start questioning the beginning of your book–your hero’s motives, your hero’s dilemma, your hero’s goals, you begin to realize how BIG of a problem you have. Because once you begin to make changes on the beginning, you must, must, must make changes to the middle. And ending. An exhausting revelation. (One which I know will only make my story stronger. Better. More interesting!) Yet, all it’s currently doing is draining me. Discouraging me. I was on track to have this beast done by February. Now, it looks more like next June.
Ah, the joys of the Rewrite. It’s painful and often times overwhelming. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. And yet, through the stress of it, I know I’ll find treasures I’d have never encountered before. Bits of dialogue that will pack a punch. Lines of description that will wax poetic. Character emotions that will jump off the page. Rewrites and only rewrites can do that.
I know this.
And yet, I whine.
But, I will commit to pushing through, journeying onward until my rewrite transforms into a final draft. Because I must. This story chose me. I have no option but to write until completion.
If you haven’t already, take a look at The 90-Day Rewrite. It just might make you trash the beginning of your current story. Only to make it better.