Thank you Jesus that today is my last day at work this week. It’s not even 9:30 and I’m ready to beat someone’s head in with a hammer. I’ve had a headache for 2 weeks (welcome to summer and allergy season–I will HAVE a headache until October or November when we get a frost) and I am GRUMPY. The fact that my annual girl doctor appointment is today isn’t helping. Those visits are too much like a real life version of that awful naked dream–all they give you is a giant one of those napkin things they use at the dentist. I need to get on that whole meditation thing…
And the day started so well. I did my assisted chin ups this morning without having to add the cheating bounce from the floor to get going.
So on the writing front, revisions haven’t been going great. I ended up having to work late yesterday (due to the person I want to beat with a hammer), so instead of writing when I got home, I sat down with a glass of wine and a notepad to start making broad stroke notes about my next act–everything that needs to happen character arc wise from the midpoint to the SPP because I’m not 100% convinced that what I have is the best sequence to achieve those things. This is the section that’s the biggest mess, so I’m trying to be very deliberate and considering regarding what I decide to do here, figuring out what will best serve the story. Then it’s back to easier stuff once I hit the last act. That’s mostly just expansion on what I already have.
I’ve also steadily been moving forward on various and sundry toolkits for potential next projects. And one thing that’s happened this week that’s been unexpected is that DOTH has been niggling. After the disaster that was the first draft, I essentially set mental fire to it and razed the damn thing. Serious scorched earth, don’t dare touch it trauma. I haven’t looked at it since January, and haven’t thought about it (beyond the emotional OMG THIS SUUUUUUUCKS) since then either. But the thing about the aftermath of a forest fire is that it nourishes the land and eventually you get new growth. I’ve been getting some intriguing ideas for new directions with the story. So I’m starting with a blank toolkit, clean slate, scribbling the new ideas as they come to me, and I’ll work the toolkit on this as if it were a new project. No looking back at the old crap. Anything actually important still still be in my head. It won’t be the next project. There’s too much to plan and figure out (and I won’t make the mistake of NOT doing that this time around). But it’s nice to be able to look at it and see possibilities instead of hissing like a scalded cat. I think part of what led to this is this really super awesome post I read last week by Victoria Schwab, wherein she talks about how you have to make something before you can make it better. About how the middle is hell because you’ve written enough to know it’s wrong but not enough to know how to fix it. I think, reading that, that this is the first time since I finished that book that I don’t feel like that whole first draft was a wasted effort. Which is kind of…relieving. Because I’ve spent a great deal of time and effort beating myself bloody about that. What that first draft was, was a whole lot of directions that didn’t work. And now with half a year of distance, I’m seeing why and what might work better. Hopefully, whenever I do go back to that book, it won’t take 13 months to get through that next first draft, and hopefully, that next first draft will be the start of something that DOES work instead of more wrong directions. I guess I’m on the other side of the Dreaded Valley of the Shadow of the First Draft (cousin to the Dreaded Valley of the Shadow of the Middle).