dump it

I’m a pretty slow writer. I go over every paragraph multiple times before I move on to the next one. That has always worked pretty well for me, in the long run. One of my editors once told me that I submitted the cleanest manuscripts she had ever seen. By that she meant, it didn’t need much editing.

Generally I can say that I stop myself if I’m setting off in the wrong direction. At most a page in the light will go on, I’ll see I’ve made a wrong turn, and I can backtrack right there.

Book Six (which has a title now, but I’m too superstitious to tell you) has been a departure from the norm. Today I had to dump a whole chapter. A whole freakin chapter. Thirty pages. Anxiety wells up in my throat thinking about it. To be clear: by ‘dump’ I mean the chapter came out, but it didn’t go into that big trashbin in the sky. It went into my folder called BookSixBits. That is, pieces that don’t work where they originally showed up, but might fit somewhere else. At the very least I’ll be able to pull some good sentences out at some point in the future and use them.

So the dumped chapter is sitting there, a huge fat toad staring at me.

It’s an awful feeling, but it had to happen. There’s a kind of relief, too. I can start tomorrow morning from the spot where things started to go wrong, and hopefully things will move more smoothly.

She said hopefully.

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6 Replies to “dump it”

  1. I can’t wait for my signed page! As for the trivia, well it’s heaps of fun and a good refresher for when QOS comes out, because some of us don’t have time to re-read all four books! :)

  2. Ahh man Rosina, that stinks! I can totally sympathise with you on having to ‘dump’ material.

    While I may not be so accomplished a writer to pen the novel I dream about, I am a trained journalist and my current job includes writing, editing and designing a magazine for members of our organisation; I find it completely heartbreaking when I’ve got a really excellent quote or think of a brilliant paragraph that just doesn’t fit where I want to go with the story. I’ll often sit trying to re-work it so it does blend but sometimes its just gotta go and that’s a real bummer!

    I hope a good portion of what you have written is salvagable somewhere later in book six!

  3. You sound like your own harshest critic. I have bought all of the wilderness series in hard cover. I can reread parts of them and they still stir something in me. I especially love the relationship between Simon and Lilly. Jennet and Luke are a close second. Of course, there is the first book that started it all. The determined young lady who had it all figured out until she hit the reality of a wilderness town.Her preconceived notions were quickly confronted by outside cultures and her own feelings she never imagined.
    Please keep writing even if not these same characters. I’ll keep recommending you to my friends and family.
    Thanks for the pleasant daydreams,
    Carolyn

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