Katherine Paterson wrote of her struggles in writing in her book, Gates of Excellence. She writes of coming into the house one day and dramatically announcing that she was never going to finish her book.
Her husband calmly replied, “Oh, so you’re at THAT stage.”
What a refreshing concept–there is actually a stage of writing where the author is in despair; but if you trust the process, you’ll make it through that stage and the book will be great. (Thank you, Mr. Paterson!)
I am in THAT stage of writing right now. Why?
I am doing what I call a Quantum-Leap-Revision. This isn’t just a few changes in each chapter; rather, I am totally revising the whole thing, shaking up the plot, moving chapters, omitting chapters, writing new chapters. This revision will wind up a galaxy away from the previous one.
To do a Quantum-Leap-Revision requires that you let go of any preconceived notions of where the story might go. You must be willing to change ANYthing and EVERYthing. You are allowed one “heart of the story” to keep sacred, not to be touched by the revision. But everything else is up for grabs.
My poor story. It looks like swiss cheese right now. And I am in despair that it will never come out right. Yes, indeed: I am at THAT stage.
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