This morning I watched another of the online classes I’ve been auditing, and suddenly something that has eluded me for months became blindingly obvious. To rescue my WIP from the mud it’s currently stuck in, all I have to do is:
- Change the point of view from 1st person present to 3rd person past
- Change the premise back to the original idea
- Start things off in a much weirder location.
These three not-so-little changes will pretty much deep-six the first 4000 words and require a complete rewrite of the other 18,000. Meh. A lot of the early stuff was character discovery anyway, and I suspect
some much of it was not exactly gripping. Also, there might be passages, maybe even entire chapters, that I can retain in some form or other. So it’s definitely not the end of the world, just a major surprise. When I walked into this room on Monday afternoon, I sure didn’t expect to find myself back to Square Two a mere 48 hours later.
The other surprise: how good it feels, how downright freeing it is to finally see a clear path ahead. I was positively giddy for the first hour. I decided I needed to let this insight settle for a bit before tearing into a new manuscript, so I went for a long walk around town.
Now, after dinner with Marcia at a trattoria up the street and an exceptional dessert** back at the Inn, I’m feeling a bit stuffed and a bit sleepy, but still excited and very ready for the next part of the journey. Unlike the first time I started this story, when all I had to go on a fragment of an idea, now I have a whole cast of characters I’ll be traveling with.
* On my walk I found an area near the old RR right-of-way where the streets are named Iron Lane, Steel Lane, and Furnace Street. I tried to find the foundry that must have been there at one time, but either it has been torn down or re-purposed beyond recognition. I also spent some pleasant moments on the bridge over a little river that runs in front of the Water Works, so it was a good head-clearing exercise all around.
**Pumpkin-bread pudding with cranberries and a bourbon sauce. Best. Bread. Pudding. Ever.
© 2014 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go