WIP Marathon Intro

Marathon Goal:

This is my first time joining in on a wip marathon and I’m excited about it! My wip is currently sitting at about 25K and I’d like to add 40K by February 1st to bring it to 65K. At that point, I should be within 15-25K of the end.

Stage of writing:

This is a major rewrite of a story I first wrote 2-3 years ago. A good chunk of the plot has changed and I’m really trying to focus on making my writing more engaging so that readers are drawn into the story.

What inspired my current project:

My wip is an urban fantasy story set in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada. For a long time I wanted to write a story about a girl who could see through magical disguises. I also wanted to write a story featuring two brothers with a fun sibling relationship. I meshed those two ideas together and started writing the story as a pilot television script. After getting stuck partway in, I decided to change it into a novel and wrote the first version. This time around I’ve changed much of the plot and have also incorporated magical/supernatural creatures that aren’t as over-used as the ones in the previous version.

What might slow down my marathon goal:  

The holidays! I love decorating for Christmas and I’m already spending time doing that. I always like to take time out to play Christmas music on the piano during December, since that’s one of my favourite things to do. Also, I can say with almost absolute certainty that I won’t be writing from December 24 to the 27th as I’ll have friends from Japan visiting. However, I set my marathon goal with those things in mind. If not for the holidays, I probably would have set my goal at 50K so I’m hoping that adding 40K will be manageable.

Best time of the day for writing:

I prefer to write in the morning, but I can’t do that on days when I’m working. On work days, I typically write in the late afternoon.

I look forward to getting to know everyone else who’s involved in this wip marathon! 🙂

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Rewriting: Breaking Free of My Self-Constructed Box

Back in the late spring/early summer I decided to massively rewrite my urban fantasy manuscript. While I love my characters and their underlying story, I wasn’t satisfied with the plot or my writing. I’ve learned a lot (A LOT) about writing since I first wrote the manuscript and I want to do my characters justice by telling their story with the quality they deserve. Although I put the rewrite on hold for a few months while I wrote the first draft of my second cozy mystery, I’m now back to focusing on the rewrite.

I’m super excited to tackle this project but as I attempted to work on it yesterday for the first time in months, I very quickly remembered how I had agonized over it back in the spring/summer because I was immediately back to feeling the same way.

This isn’t a major round of editing. This is a massive rewrite. The characters are the same and the beginning of the story has some similarities to the old version, but I estimate that at least 70% of the pot will be completely different and even scenes that are similar to the old version are getting rewritten.

So, yeah. MAJOR PROJECT.

But it’s not the scale of the project that I’m finding so difficult. Not really. I think what’s giving me the most trouble is myself-constructed box.

The characters and the old version of their story have been in my head for years and years. Trying to break through all those old ideas of what happens so I can see the new story has been difficult. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to break some of my ties to the old plot and have come up with several new, stronger ideas.

Still, scene by scene, the old version tries to limit me. Even when I’ve accepted the fact that a certain scene is going to play out differently in the new version, I still find myself unsatisfied at times with the way I’m writing it. I’ve come to realize that part of the reason for that is that I’m still allowing the words (not just the plot) of the old version to stifle me.

For example, although the scene I tackled yesterday takes place in a new location with an additional character present, I found myself cutting and pasting lines from the previous version and attempting to simply modify them to fit the new circumstances. Sure, that allows me to add words faster but it left me feeling completely unsatisfied with my progress. My old words are old. Since I first wrote them, my writing has evolved, improved. I need to remember that simply because a scene has similarities to the past version, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t rewrite Every. Single. Line.

Yes, rewriting every line means a lot more work for me. But in the end, it’ll be worth it. I know that.

So I’m trying my best to recognize that even scenes that I’m keeping from the old version don’t have to play out the exact same way as they did before. Even if they do play out the same way, they don’t have to do so with the same words, the same descriptions, the exact same lines of dialogue.

It’s incredibly difficult sometimes to see beyond the box of words and plot that I constructed for myself in the past, but I’m trying. At this point, I think I’ve broken down the walls of my box but I’m still standing amidst the ruins. Step-by-step, however, I plan to get free of those ruins and allow this story to become the story it needs and wants to be.

Have you ever felt limited by your own self-constructed box and had difficulty thinking beyond it?

What have your rewriting experiences been like?