Moving the Finish Line

There I was, sprinting toward the finish line, faster than a herd of turtles in a wind storm.  I could see it clearly.  Could almost touch it.  I just needed to dig deep and pull up the energy to make that final sprint.  Agent list is made and waiting, query is fine tuned, just need to finish the final edits and my novel would be ready to send out into the real world.  Death to adverbs and statives!  Put those commas in the right places!  (Wow, that almost sounds like the beginning of a Dr. Seuss-like poem. .  . hmmm)

I blinked.

What the — Someone moved the finish line!!  It was right there!  I swear!  And now it’s, well….further.

All because my very excellent reader pushed me to re-write a scene that, admittedly, was a bit flat.  So I unflattened it.  That pushed it into the ranks of something just a little bit higher than toilet paper.  I grumbled, I growled, I pulled large fist-fulls of hair out of my head and agonized.  The scene was giving me major fits.  So I got a fire going, literally, plunked my butt on the futon, cranked The Two Towers soundtrack and totally disassociated myself from the rest of the book.  I put the three players into the scene and let them loose to do as they please.  As usual, they did things I never saw coming.  Things I kept holding them back from because I knew what would happen if they had their way.

But the end product?  Well, it’s a vast improvement over the first.

It also changed events that can’t be overlooked.  My MC went and committed an act that will now force me to  re-think the entire rest of the book.  Not in a major way, just a big enough way that now editing has become a complicated mix of editing and revising.  My MC has some baggage to deal with now, and my other MC is going to have to show his softer side a whole lot sooner than planned.  The only one who benefits in a positive way, or so he thinks, if my antagonist, whom I believe is downright giddy over the whole event.  If “giddy” were an emotion he was at all familiar with.  Which he’s not.

So, where’s that leave me on my ROW80 goals?  Pretty much the same place I was on Wednesday.

  • Not hitting 2k/day in favor of editing
  • Not getting my Blog posts up regularly ~ although watch for a Guest Post from J. A. Campbell, author of Doc, Vampire-Hunting Dog
  • Editing/revising/rewriting/regrowing the hair I’m pulling out, all for the love of my craft (or due to a slight bought of insanity.  But, really, are they all that different?)
  • Querying, obviously tied to the above.  Not worried about that.  Anxious to get it out there but not if it can be better.

Write on!

 

21 Comments:

  1. Those darn finish lines, they never stay where we put them.

    But hey, if your antagonist is happy in the middle of the book, you must be doing something right.

  2. You’ll get there. My novel gave me a spin this morning too, but as of now I won’t have to change too much! Good luck!

  3. This made me feel better, thanks.

  4. Better to catch those needed changed before you query! You’re improving the odds for getting an agent to want to represent your work!

  5. Ouch. I’ve been there. Many times. But, admittedly, my novel has always turned out for the better in those cases.

    It’s kinda like hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes we just don’t know we steered wrong until we hit the roadblock. I’m glad you have a reader who is paying attention–actually, you’re better off than a lot of writers out there. You need to buy him/her flowers or a gift card to their fave restaurant!! Just an idea. 🙂

    • Oh yeah, I am big time in his debt. 🙂 I am extraordinarily lucky to have him. Though there are times I scratch my head and wonder.

  6. I have it on the best authority that your pushy reader really likes bourbon.

  7. Darn those extra scenes, darn the darndid dasterly turtle – I hate it when that happens, but also love it, when it makes my work better for it.

  8. Reblogged this on Hunter's Writing and commented:
    A fellow RoWer (ROW80) gets pipped at the finish line by a wayward rewritten scene – I hate and love when that happens.

  9. This is where writers really earn their “writer badge” in my humble opinion! I truly believe your work will be stronger for the struggles you are having. I hope your journey to the finish line, wherever it may end up, is worth every second of the race. 😉

    • Hi Tia, thanks for stopping by. There are a few other scenes that need some revising, I hope my characters don’t change anything more! 😉

  10. Sometimes those darn characters have a mind of their own! Sounds like you are in a great (though somewhat frustrating at times!) path…keep going and your book will be the better for it! Good luck this week. 🙂

  11. I absolutely hate when I make a change that has a ripple effect on the rest of the book – but sometimes it just has to be done. Good luck reaching that finish line!

    • Thanks, Susan! 🙂 The biggest impact is on the scenes immediately following it. I think once I have those worked out, there won’t be a whole lot to change down the road. At least, so I’m hoping.

  12. Just imagine how much better the book will be when you let those ripples play out. I think that’s great progress! Have a great week. 🙂

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