One thing that I wish or dream about is reviving an older novel I've written called "Going to the Beginning". Last week I spent several hours rewriting the beginning paragraph from scratch. When I was done I had nothing visible to show for it because I had deleted every single attempt.
I could give up. The story is rough and messy. If it was an animal most people wouldn't let it in their house. In fact they'd probably call animal control. Thankfully I'm not most people. I'll happily take in the bedraggled and unloveable. That's probably part of the reason my house is always so cluttered.*
|All I can say is "I love clipart", ok well that and what's with the bunny? He looks way too normal.|
What I needed was to bring back the excitement it my story. That idea that churns around in my head. It blankets itself over my other thoughts until I expel the words through my fingers and onto the page.
It was time to go back to the beginning. I'm not editing my old novel. There are too many unnecessary plot and character points to fix. Each time I try it bogs me down and I feel lost. It's hard to clear up something when you can't remember what you want it to look like.
Since then I have rewritten my core idea and premise for the story. These are the reasons I first wanted to tell this story. The important stuff that I lost track of while I was busy plugging in my daily words.
The core of my novel is about what a sister will endure out of love and a need to protect her sister. It is also about the misconception that having a mental illness means you are broken or less than other people.
This is what I wrote down for the premise. "After missing for a few days, nine year old Jane is found in a coma. Her sister Julianne is the only one who knows the secret of how her sister disappeared in the first place. She is determined to follow in her sister's footsteps and find a way to save her sister." Dun Dun Dun.**
After writing down my core idea and premise I started to believe in this project again. The premise even ended up being vastly different from my original one. It's going to take more than a few little edits here and there to the story. This doesn't upset me though. I am an intrepid explorer about to uncover the lives and plot of characters I've already come to love.
Have you ever gutted a story or revamped it drastically? Did the daunting task give you a new spark of creativity? I'd love to hear from you.
* Although I prefer the term future artifact dig
** I have a hard time writing anything even remotely suspenseful without adding Dun Dun Dun or something similar. I'm very mature that way.