The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I have been making my way through corrections, but a new problem has reared its head. I've been thrown off a little by the read-through I did of the first hundred pages.

When I finished reading, I thought, wow this guy's really being pushed to the end of his rope. That ought to be good, right?

But by the next day, I was becoming more and more alarmed and uncertain, because my MC is seriously halfway to being off his rocker. And I don't know if this makes sense within the story, or if I've entered some kind of psychological vortex where I'm writing stuff that has nothing to do with what the book needs to be.

If I look at some of the things he does near the end of the book, he really is off his rocker by then. He's completely left the tracks in those parts. Those are the parts where I skipped ahead and wrote him when he's already lost all control. It makes sense, if I think about it intellectually, that he would be pushed near the end of his rope early on, so we can worry about what might come later.

But jeez. This is scary. It's actually scary to see what I've written. A fellow writer will be looking at it shortly and providing a reality check, and in the meantime I'm more or less stepping back and eyeing the ms with suspicion, from a safe distance. It's a good time, because I'm in the middle of packets.

In my mind, though, I'm tentatively poking at the ms and gingerly thinking what it might mean to the story if I have to go back and peel away all the mentally-careening-out-of-control stuff. I honestly have no clue where I'd start. I'm also gingerly thinking what it might mean if this really is the slant the story wants to take, because how do I get the reader to follow this guy as he quickly gets all the way back on his rocker for the middle of the book? And how can the book possibly have a satisfying ending?

I think the bottom line is that recent revision presents two possibilities. One, I'm way off course, have lost the essence of my character, and have a lot of major retracking and rethinking to do. Two, writing this book could be similar to writing Damage. That had a whole extra set of writing problems unlike any other book I've written. If this book has similar issues, it adds another layer of writing difficulties on top of the usual ones, plus the difficulties in the challenge I've set myself here, which is to keep a fast page-turning pace without losing any of the depth or the emotional story that I'm interested in.