And a week since I last posted. I said that I was looking forward to getting the scalpel out and applying it to the first draft, but actually the process has been quite painful. I have excised chunks of back story that no longer seem relevant, and have said farewell to parts that, although I think are well-written, no longer serve the story. I may find a way to weave them back in, but only if they play a clear role. However, this process of making space opens up new realms, so new ideas are coming, some of which I hope will strengthen the story.
This week, I have been working on my plot planner, with each scene inscribed on a different colour Post-It; green for character development, pink for plot development, yellow for thematic significance and orange for political/social relevance. It’s colourful, but it’s taking a looong time and makes me feel very critical of what I have already written. I’m facing up to the gaps and that’s not comfortable.
I would like to put it on the record now that the next time I write a novel, I will plot it first. Starting with the characters and weaving a story around them has turned this into a moveable feast that is still changing. I like where it’s got to, but the quantum leap from where I started to where I am now has to be seen to be believed.
Also on the record: I will finish this plotting process before I leave for Greece (family wedding on Crete – how lucky am I?) next Friday, so that when I return I can start rewriting. I am getting excited for word and paragraph level, ready to leave the macro and dive down into the miniscule. By the time I go, I need my architect’s plan in place so that I can start brick-building. I’m looking forward to that!