Last Monday I wrote that my goal for the day was to give my current manuscript a read-through and plan the road forward. When I did I discovered that the plot had wandered into a swamp. All the fast pacing and relationship building I had done in the first half had bogged down in the mire of backstory, extraneous characters, and contrived action. Worse than that. I went back to the last emotional encounter between the hero and heroine and discovered I had written thirteen scenes without bringing them back together. Thirteen! No wonder they refused to speak to me. I let my story get in the way of their story.
I went back to that last scene between the two of them and saw quickly how I had gone in the wrong direction, but fixing it changed everything. One of the hardest things a writer has to do is kill her babies…which is to say delete her pearls of prose. I cut over 60 pages of the stuff that day and put it off in a file in case I find a way to salvage bits of it later. I closed off the existing manuscript after the first two of those scenes apart and saved it. I opened up a blank document and began to write a new confrontation between the two of them. They liked it very much and I’ve continued to roll from there. They are telling me scene ideas faster than I have time to write them. Maybe I will get this thing done after all.
But first, coffee.