In the re-write, it is tempting to get caught in the land of sub-plots. These leisurely strolls through your imagination that we follow to see where they go.
But the thing is: they aren’t an essential part of the story. They are a distraction. There is only one way to deal with them—KILL THEM. Stephen King says it this way: “Murder your darlings.”
These darlings are the things you chase, but don’t quite fit with the world you created—or distract from it. It is this mix of fluff and backstory. You cannot reason with a darling, you have to kill it.
It doesn’t add to the story. It doesn’t give insight to what the protagonist or antagonist does—it only distracts and deters us from the plot. It takes the reader off the path you set for them to somewhere less concrete. Darlings are unruly little things, and you must deal with them accordingly.
This week we are talking about adding in/taking out of your work. Refer to ON WRITING for more about this concept. -JBH
When I have to do rewrites or visions, I get excited! For me, the hardest part is getting everything out! Once it is out, THEN I can say what I want to say.
With that tendency, I like to put more story in! I add more detail, I add more people, places, and problems. I add what I believe the story needs. My revision is a place where I stuff my story. I put things in the story I didn’t even think I could because I didn’t quite know where to put it. Don’t be afraid to add.
Even though I naturally put in my work, taking out of it is something that I am comfortable with. I realize that what I take out, had to be taken out—and there is one story that I want to tell. And I have to be brave enough to tell that one.
I have to remember that I can only tell one story at a time. Just one. Then another.
This week’s Encouragement Pages have given way to an essay that will be available during September 2021. The month of September has been designated at BACK TO WRITING MONTH. This is going to be good! -JBH
Here is a formula for writing boldly:
(Imagination x Vocabulary) – Fear + Time= Writing Boldly.
Let me say it this way.
All writers have an imagination they are used to tapping into, and all writers have an imagination that they don’t tap into often. I like to call this TCI. What is the TCI? The Complete Imagination is your imagination as a whole: the things you fear, you desire, that you love, lust or even hate. All these thing influence you as a writer.
Being bold as a writer requires that you be willing to make your imagination vulnerable, and flexible to what you need it to be. Mining out the boldness as a writer requires that you listen to what is in your head, and not fearing that!
Writing boldly will require you be gentle with yourself–as well as pushing yourself. But, yet–it is completely worth it.
But, that’s why I’m here to help! It is normal to have jitters when startinga rewrite. If you don’t have them, I question you as a writer.
Rewrites, revisions can be nerve-wracking! They can be emotionally draining and you just may plain old don’t want to do them!
Yet, this is necessary.
Very rarely do you do write the exact thing you want in a rough draft. On the off chance that you have, you still need to take time to proofread for grammar and other small mistakes. A rough draft is just that—ROUGH!
The revision is the smoothing out, adding in, taking out, all the stuff that you wanted to do when you started but may not have seen that you could do! Take advantage of that! Instead of seeing the revision as a chore, see it as an opportunity! The process will go better when you do.