★ On Hard Decisions

Oh, what a fool I was! Having finished draft one of my novel, I thought I could go back and cruise to a second draft by making edits and adding to/subtracting from the whole. This has, after all, been my primary mode of writing to date. It is very rare for me to simply start over again, and I assumed that my old habits would carry me through this new adventure. Not so, it appears. As I have made my way through this second draft, it has become increasingly apparent that simple tweaks aren't going to do the trick.

Think of it like an old code base: you can change bits of it, add to it, subtract from it, etc., but eventually you reach a point where if you want to move on, you have to simply take all the lessons you've learned and start from scratch, with a new code. And it's hard to accept that, because you've put so much work into the first version, but if you want to get where you want to go, then you have to suck it up and do what the job demands, and that's what I'm doing.

That's not to say I'm abandoning what I've done. In fact, I've made tremendous progress on the story, the characters, the setting - really, every aspect of it - and I fully intend to finish telling this story. But to get it where I want it to be, I need to start from word one all over again. I know the story, I've got extensive notes, and I have my original manuscript to reference. Now it's time to sit down with what I now know and write it again.

What I'm trying to say is that after trying to carve a second draft from a first, I have now decided to write a second draft. This is going to take time and it's going to take energy, but having examined the options available to me, I feel it's the best one left. My goal has always been to have something that I am personally happy with by December 31st, 2010. I think that this is the best way for me to achieve that goal.

So, here goes!