Saturday, February 7, 2015

Retracing the Plotland Trail

After serious consideration of all the reviewers' critiques I restructured my recently completed novel to fix a major problem, addressed all the mechanical/technical errors, and wrote narrative and dialogue material that was absent.

That done, I returned to "finish" the novel I've been discussing in the Plotland sagas.

Having taken the time away gave me the perspective I needed to close the major arc of the story and come to a more or less satisfying ending.  Those adjustments were a matter of a few days work before I could return to the painful editing I'd temporarily abandoned earlier. 

If you will recall, I wrote the story in, for me, breathtaking strides, laying down fifty thousand words in a single month, another forty thousand in a second dash, and the final ten thousand over a three-month period of hesitant spurts.  I blogged about all of these efforts in excruciating detail.

The result of my never looking back as I forged ever onward, resulted in a mishmash of conflicting plot lines, misidentified locations, and bestowed upon the principal character a shifting, almost schizophrenic, chameleon-like personality.  On re-reading, I must admit that I must have been very confused as to just who the protagonist might be at times. All in all, the initial exploratory struggles as I stumbled through Plotland resulted in a VERY messy first draft.

With all that in mind I returned to slogging through Portland once more.  Where before I flew through the novel in twenty league boots, now I am forced to crawl on humbled knees, examining each word as I inform the earlier work with the knowledge gained from writing the later portions and my adjustments to the major arc.  Nancy Kress said that no writer knows what their novel is about until it is finished and, where Plotland is concerned, she couldn't have been more right.

Except there's a short story I have to finish first and then...  Maybe I'll do some reading, shopping, or something else so I don't have to take to the Plotland trail once again.


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