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Sunday, May 30, 2010

On and on I go

So I discovered that my own personal hell has a first name, it's Revision.  You thought I was complaining and struggling when I was just finishing the first draft but there was a special ring of Dante's hell waiting.  It is the ring of revisions that will not come.  Seriously, things were going pretty smoothly, too smoothly, until I got to chapter 30.  Things came to a grinding halt as I realized the chapter was merely filler.  So, merrily, I gave it the ax and moved on to chapter 31.  A sinking feeling hit me when I came to the same conclusion about 31.  Scarcely daring to look ahead, I glanced at 32 and discovered there were several small things that had to happen to get us from 29 to 32.  And that is where I've been sitting for a couple weeks now.  A few paltry things to get us from point A to point B, and yet, they won't come. 
As my entire family napped this afternoon,  I decided I was going to push through and get through this so I could finish up the revisions and move on with my life.  No more procrastinating, I was determined to figure it out.  So you know what I did?  I wrote.  What was the result?  More filler.  Nothing more than trite filler to slowly move along to the next exciting bit.  This will not do.  I have been thinking about this, agonizing over this dilemma for the last couple weeks and this is what I discovered.  To get from chapter 29 to 32, I need 2 weeks of largely uneventful time to pass and the protagonist needs to get an invitation to a party.  Put that way, it seems laughable that I'm struggling with this so much.  "Seriously?"  you're thinking.  "You're that hung up about a party invitation?"  Unfortunately, my answer is 'yes'.  (unless I cut the party as well...hmmm...arrgghhh!  Now you have a tiny clue of the nightmare in my brain.)  My beautiful story has fallen apart roughly 3/4 of the way through.  How sad is that?  Sadder still, is the fact that I have to fix it.  It's all up to me. 
Sure, Jay Asher and Paula Morrow think I have a very marketable story here.  They're right.  But you can't market something that isn't finished.  I can't wow my dream agent if I'm not impressed myself.  Believe you me, I have a severe case of not impressed.
I know what I need to do.  I need to tap into the voice of my characters and let them tell me what they need to do next.  Unfortunately, it seems they're taking a vacation together and they haven't left a forwarding address.   

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