I’m almost up to page 200 on my mystery, so this is a horrible time to think of a change that will make my character more involved in solving a clue that’s on page 36 of the manuscript. Yes, it will sharpen the tension. Yes, it will make the book better. BUT…it will mean tweaking every scene that comes after it. ~Sigh~
The way I first wrote it was pretty good. I liked it. The problem is, the new idea is even better. The sad truth is that I’m a lazy person. Ben Franklin claimed the same. He explained that he invented things so that they’d make life easier for him. The computer makes it easy to move scenes, rewrite, do all kinds of things. BUT, it still takes time to follow through on scenes that have a cause and effect structure. Change page 36 and you have to change every scene with that element for the rest of the manuscript until you get caught up somewhere.
I went ahead and did it. I made the change. I really like it, but I wasn’t fond of all the work that came AFTER. I’m glad I did it, but it was a pain. That’s one of the reasons I write so many plot points. Then I know if A happens, B follows, and that creates C, and C moves me into D, etc. Cause and effect, over and over again. The whole pattern lies before me. Unless I change C. And then who knows what happens? Okay, I’m exaggerating. I ALWAYS know what happens, but doggone it, the dynamics change.
I’m not as enamored of numerous rewrites as some authors. I rewrite as I go, because it tests my patience to sit down and polish and polish a manuscript. Somewhere along the line, I hate the whole thing. Did I mention I’m lazy? I like moving from point A to point Z and having it in pretty good shape when I get there. This time, for whatever reason–and every manuscript is different, even after writig lots of them–I’ve done more rewrites along the way than usual. And this time, for whatever reason, they haven’t driven me crazy. I get excited every time I make the story better. It must be because it’s spring, and I’m planting flowers and filling flower boxes. Or maybe I’ve breathed too much fresh air. But I still LIKE this manuscript, even when it’s pestered me more than it should.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m a grumpy writer. I mutter at manuscripts that cause me undue bother. I threaten to trash them. The sad truth is, they’re not intimidated by me one whit. My Muse turns a blind eye while they rebel. And I still love the damn things.
No matter what kind of writer you are–and let’s hope you’re more noble than I am and nurture each little struggling word–happy writing! May your ideas flow smoother than mine have right now:)