“Kill your darlings.”
It’s attributed to Virginia Woolf, but someone else said it. She just lived by it. In a draft or two, I’m hoping to follow her example.
I’m currently lighting votive candles at the altar of St. Virginia the Ruthless, as I wrestle the octopus-arms of plot in the current NaNo novel. I just edited the love/sex scene that was defeating me before, because I had thoughts that it was weird to write something quite that mixed. Sex and death, time and mortality (hard to avoid that when my hero is a resurrected sacrifice from the first century C. E.), the Rubicon and Chernobyl and the lost legions of Varus, along with the dead mothers of Our Hero and Our Heroine. Oh yes, and some rather sweet nookie, but that’s the icing.
I still have to deal with the long-lost brother, the serial killer, and the aftermath of the fight scene in the bog. I’m still hoping to have this Loose Baggy Monster in first draft for my first-draft beta readers by midnight on New Year’s Eve. It’s looking like a close-run thing at this point.
An aside: the more I learn about bogs, the more I am inclined to admire them from the greatest possible distance.
Sounds like you are a miracle worker to have your intricate plot fixed for beta readers by NYE. But hey, what a way to ring in the new year!
The draft is super-raw, and these beta-readers all have very strong stomachs for first draft. The challenge is getting a semi-quasi-hacked-together draft that finishes the story…
Stopped by your blog. Really liked your post about three-dimensional characters.
Nice to hear you have such awesome beta readers!
Thanks for reading my blog post! I’m doing a series of Larry Brook’s ‘Story Engineering’ because it’s changed how I’ll construct my novel, and I hope it helps you too. Stay posted for more related articles.
It’s always hard to create something only to destroy it. When you know you are going to destroy it the temptation is to keep it rough, but that ruins the impact. The hard part of writing really good suspense filled fiction is letting your readers know that you truly care about what you write, and aren’t afraid to destroy it at the same time. It takes it’s toll emotionally.