I don’t mind a week that flies by that fast (and this one has really flown), it means I’ve been really busy, but then You Lot already knew I would be – Anyway, the weekends are nice, we can sit up late and catch up with sleep the next morning and all the other great things that happen with weekends – all the while still working away on the manuscript and getting it to where it should have been months ago.
I’m currently trawling through all my individual character and note files with the intention of gradually hollowing them out and seeing all the good stuff end up where it was always meant to be, in the manuscript (of course).
It’s a bit daunting in some of those files. There are lots of bits. It’s the whole scenes I’m after, but I am discovering that some of those are pretty old. Some are years old. That means a rewrite is necessary on them. There was always going to be a polish-up done there, as well as all the work needed to plug them seamlessly into the story, but I’m talking here the need for a deeper operation.
I was secretly hoping for a treasure trove of wonderful stuff already done. Oh, silly me. Never mind. It’s all part of it.
What bothers me is the amount in those files that’s useless and being discarded. I don’t mind rubbish going – trash is trash – I mind that it will leave me with less than I thought I had of good, working stuff.
I won’t give you any figures until it is done. A couple of days ago (whenever it was), I said it would take a few days. I’ve given it a couple of days now and barely scratched the surface, so I might have to amend the transfer time to a couple of weeks.
The manuscript is building, though, so I’m achieving what I want – and more – because I am also writing along the way (not just transferring).
Have a great weekend, folks. Rest assured, I’m having a blast, too. I am actually enjoying myself very much. And that, my friends, is a sign of progress.
Even discarded bits aren’t truly destroyed. What you wrote started the gears turning, allowing you to improve upon the foundation, in some cases replacing it entirely. Even if it’s not immediate wordcount, it will enable easier wordcount than if there had bee nothing at all.
I’d say my favorite example is the first draft of Darkness Concealed that I wrote during (and for a little while after) NaNoWriMo 2012. I hit 83,507 words…and a complete brick wall of “da #$*& am I doing?” I dropped it in early February 2013 and only looked at the prologue once all year.
Fast-forward to NaNo 2013. I still loved the story concept, the characters, and the setting, but how I had originally written it was garbage as far as I was concerned. So I started over again, with my vague memory of “what had gone before” guiding me subtly. 103,259 words (and a complete draft) resulted, with my storytelling taking turns I had never expected based on the first draft.
And even though I have never looked back at the first draft, it helped me to find out what I could and couldn’t do within the setting with the characters I had. With that “first attempt” in my head, I wrote something far stronger that outright surprised me in how “together” it felt.
So think of that when “throwing out” all the pieces too poor to put directly into place. Springboards to what you actually want to say, the first steps already taken.
You are, of course, quite right. No writing is ever wasted as each and every point is an exploration of an idea and a honing of the skillset.
For that matter, the original to my first book (The Khekarian Threat) was tossed completely into the fire at a very early age – hundreds of pages and years of work. I gave up on it. Three months later, though, a background character climbed out of the ashes and came and got me, pretty well whispering, “What about my story?” I listened and that character became Aleisha.
Many years later, the whole was tossed out again for being too miserable and having “no way” around the issue. Over the course of the next year – yes, a whole one – the solution presented itself, and Aleisha was given raw psychic skill as something the villain could be after (and lifted the intellect a bit). The Empires and the war and the ways of other civilizations (Khekarian and Chiddran) were developed at the same time, and so the book was born again.
Some books you can’t get rid of, no matter how many times you set fire to them. 😀
The version I ended up with, like yours, was so much better than anything I had envisaged, and totally surprised me. The depth of the series still staggers me. With both the first book and the second (The King’s Sacrifice), I still get shocked occasionally that I actually wrote it/them. Me, not someone else. I love that.
As for word count, I never go there with my notes and files, only in the finished article or the building of the finished article. Only then do I see it as a progressive marker. Prior to that (in the working files), it doesn’t matter how high the count gets. If I became aware of it, I would equally be aware that the count would have to be trimmed by X-amount, which is useless to me as the problem takes care of itself. 😀
As promised, I bought your books when money existed to buy them. As a quick note, The Khekarian Threat’s page has a typo for the series name: “The Khekariain Series”.
Oh bugger! That is weird. First thing I did was grab my paperback copy, but there the series name is correctly spelled “Khekarian” (“Book One in the Khekarian Series”). Kindle should be identical. Give me a few minutes to check this out and update it. Thank you so much for pointing this out to me.
Thank you, too, for buying my books. 😀
Okay – I’ve checked both books, both PDFs and Kindle – that line “Book One [or Book Two] in the Khekarian Series” reads correctly in all my copies. I did a search on both PDFs (The Khekarian Threat and The King’s Sacrifice) for the spelling you gave me and it came up clean. I also looked at both of those pages mentioning the Khekarian Series. It’s spelled correctly.
I went to Amazon and had a “look inside” but unfortunately it jumps pretty well straight into the story and does not show that page. I do have a Kindle copy I downloaded when trying to work out how to download! Anyhow, that copy (fairly recent) is also error free on that line and I have not changed anything since.
It might be a glitch???
As the copy is yours now, you should be able to re-download it – or ignore it, if you prefer.
If a glitch can throw in extra letters, it’s got me wondering about the rest of it. I would hate to be blamed for spelling mistakes that are actually computer stutter. 😀
WAIT! I found it! Not inside the book at all – Whew! – In the bloody description?! Well THAT makes me look good.
Will fix. Thank you!
😀 😀 😀
I accept payment in souls.
Actually, this gets weird. If you follow the link I have in the right margin, it takes you to both books (1 and 2) – where the description is accurate. Yet if you type in “Khekariain” (the wrong spelling) within Amazon, it takes you to an earlier copy with the incorrect spelling.
The downside is, the page that contains that information (series name, etc.) is locked in with the ISBN and it won’t allow me to change it. I suspect if I did resubmitted the entire work with a new ISBN, that the originals will still be there somewhere anyway.
A further downside is that Amazon is notorious for not giving help – my last request to remove the extra Kindle copy (it got published twice) was never responded to.
Shortly I will be upgrading the titles of both books to make it more clear they run in a series and will be upgrading the backs, too – so I shall tackle the beast then. That’s how I managed to make that change back then. Something like that.
In souls? Really? I didn’t sign anything, did I? 😛
Ugh! I don’t know how you do it. I have a very hard time discarding “rubbish.” I have it fixated in my head that some of it will be useful for something, someday. Lately I’ve been forcing myself to dive into all those journals and put my money where my mouth is. I *said* I’d use it, so now I’m going to, rather than just collect thousands of ideas.
Wow – I like that! You making it work. That’s far better than just sitting on those ideas as so many writers do (me included).
There are always elements that are “too good” to throw away. Yes, I have another file. I do weed out and throw out trash though, because some of my stuff is really, really bad. Some of the old stuff is mind-bogglingly poorly written, too, which doesn’t help.
You are not alone. I love that you actually grab your notions and put them to use. 🙂