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Thursday, August 09, 2018

Writing in Order

There are some writers who are able to write whatever scene is coming in strongest for them and hop around their book, seamlessly writing out of order. I am not one of those writers. One little change in the beginning of a story can cascade through the entire book for me.

An example is when I wrote The Power of Two. Cai's age was changed, making her younger, and it literally caused me to rewrite almost every scene in the book. It had impact even though, theoretically, it was nothing more than changing a number.

In my latest project, I started the story with my heroine's daring escape. (Let's not discuss the prologue yet, although that had impact as well.) I wrote about 40,000 words in this draft (The draft was not finished) before I went back and started to revise, and on revision, I began the story earlier. Like 8 chapters earlier, IIRC. (I'm going by memory and not opening up my files to check.)

As I'm writing these new chapters, I'm thinking, I hope I can cut and paste from the other draft once I reach that point, but I have a bad feeling things aren't going to work out that easily.

I was right to worry.

At first I thought it was only because some of the early stuff needed to be integrated into the current draft. Like the daring escape. It's largely the original version, but not quite because of feedback and because some previous details had changed. This meant I couldn't cut and paste in bulk, but I could cut and paste paragraphs at a time. I was okay with this because this was all hybrid stuff.

Then I hit the point where I should have been able to cut and paste entire chapters. Um, yeah, no. Too much had changed from the draft and I had to rewrite or tweak just about everything.

The prologue changes also had a major impact on the romance part of the story. The new prologue is stronger and shorter, but it turns out that the changes I made there are impacting the entire romantic arc of the story. Damn it. This really makes me wish I was one of those writers who seamlessly jumps around their story, but sadly, I am not one of them.

There went my dreams of a quick revision round.