Stone Turns to Jelly

Isn’t it funny how a scene you’ve written seems to be set in stone, when in fact it’s only cast from jelly?

~Simon Haynes

As you know, I’m having trouble with Mirror Image. I haven’t been able to work out what that trouble really is, but I suspected it had something to do with two things:

1. Indecisiveness on my part, and,
2. Not planning that section of the story properly.

As you also know, I’ve been using TiddlyWiki to help discover what the problem is and I guess I was hoping to find out that I had accidentally overlooked part of my planning. This would have allowed me to backtrack and fix the problem and then move, happily, forward. This did not happen.

This morning I did the internet rounds and read Which Beginning by Simon Haynes – the very last statement is quoted at the beginning of this post. When I read the statement it made me think of my writing problem and it confirmed something I’ve always known – but needed to hear again – our writing is not set in stone and neither is our planning!

This takes me back to the two points above. I did plan the section I’m having trouble with properly and part of me always knew that. This means the problem is my indecisiveness and the more I think about it, the more I accept it’s true.

When I planned Mirror Image I did so with a certain theme in mind. However, when I wrote the first draft I shifted the entire story midway to follow a theme that is close to the original. At the time, I felt sure the shift would hardly be noticed and to a reader it might not, but for me it has made a big difference. It has made such a difference that I have come to a stand still in the edit.

Now I must decide if I want to return to the original plan and theme; and continue writing about something that is part of me. Or, do I want to let go of that connection and tell a story. It sounds like an easy decision to make, but it’s not. I remember why I started this story and to let go of that reason feels wrong in so many ways. Yet on the other hand, I must consider what is best for the story overall. There are moments I want to adjust my planning and forge ahead, but then I have moments when I want to deliver the message, which was the whole reason for starting this project in the first place.

At least I finally know what the problem is. Now I just have to make a decision.

2 thoughts on “Stone Turns to Jelly”

  1. For me, if I was faced with that decision I’d go for the more personal theme. I like the idea of having part of yourself in your work. I don’t think you can totally avoid it, it’s natural.

  2. What would you do if a publisher said to change it?

    Authors are still doing one thing – creating a product. Because of this I’ve always believed that the one true thing an author can contribute to a story is their voice.

    Change the story and see how it turns out. If it’s no good and you really don’t like it then change it back and write it again.

    There are many ways to serve jelly.


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