Weekly Update: Lesson Learned, Again
You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now. I have written 14 novels, a hundred plus short stories, and been at this for quite some time. Then I make a mistake and feel like a rookie all over again.
So I was cruising away writing my giant robot story. I was having fun, things were moving along. I had plotted before hand. I was excited. I’d nailed down 25,000 words. I was rocking and rolling.
Then, of course, life happens and I took a short break from the story. I was able to spend time reading and what did I pick? Oliver Twist. A story of an abused orphan boy. His life sucks and really doesn’t get any better (at least as far as I’ve read.) He’s got challenges that he’s ill equipped to deal with.
I looked at my story and my main character was suffering from ‘Mary Sue’ syndrome. His life was simple. No challenge. Everything handed to him. Here’s a giant robot, now go fight. That’s where I’d intended for the conflict to take place, but it was weak. Sure I’d have giant robots fighting to the death, but there was little personal threat. He had nothing involved. So little at stake. He was even expected to lose, but they’d hope he’d do better. Everyone was nice to him.
blah blah blah
Yeah, that’s 25,000 words that no one will ever read. I had tried to justify it to myself explaining that I was world building. The action would come later. The personal struggle would come later. It would all come later. No, I was going the wrong way and Oliver Twist showed me why.
Ravi, the main character, needs to struggle. He can’t just have things handed to him like his privileged. This can’t be something that people aspire to do, this needs to be something that his life is at stake. There’s needs to be a very real chance that he’ll die. People need to look at him like something lesser and he needs to prove himself and overcome. A whole different sequence of events needs to take place.
I’ve spent time going over and over in my head the new direction. Yes, this book will be darker. Yes, this story will be stronger. Yes, this will be the story I should have waited to write instead of getting all excited about giant robots and just bashing away on the keyboard. I should have taken the time to allow the story to gel in my brain before putting pen to paper. Rather than jumping in feet first, I should have plotted and let it sit for a couple weeks.
Like I said, I’ve played this game before. I’ve written books and usually when I’m all excited, I’m heading in the wrong direction. I did that this time, but I know that the story will be better for the re-write. I could just keep going from the point I’m at, but the entire tone of the novel is going to change and there will be so many differences from this point forward that I just need to scrap the whole thing and start over. It’s for the best.
Do I feel bad? Oh heck no. I’ve written a lot of words that will never see the light of day. This is just 25,000 words. It’s not like scraping an entire novel and starting over (that’s called a re-write). Yes, I’ve done that multiple times. So this doesn’t break my heart because it’s all part of the process.
Speaking of the process…
Until Next Time!