Knowing When to Let Go

Originally posted on another website on 1 March 2010.

I’m attempting to plan a rewrite of Whispering Caves. It’s been much harder than I envisioned. It almost feels as if I’ve stalled at the bottom of a mountain that looks too difficult to climb! Yet, I know the characters extremely well and the world is very clear in my mind (and on paper). The only area that needed improving was the plot. I couldn’t understand why I was having so much trouble until today.

What I’ve basically done is kept the characters and world, but gotten rid of the “old” storyline/plot. This is where I’ve run into trouble because the details of the old plot are so well known to me that I’m having trouble discarding them completely. I’ve realised that subconsciously I’m trying to work the new details into the scenes I’ve laboured over for so long. This is bad! Very bad! It won’t work and I know that. I have to discipline myself to drop the old plot altogether and start again.

The (very) basic storyline is the same but the motivations are stronger, the conflicts are different, the focus on the characters has changed and a new ending has been decided on. All this means that the old scenes must be dropped. I knew this, of course, but obviously I wasn’t completely ready to put that into action. Now that I’ve realised what is holding me back I am hoping I’ll move forward and get this planning finished!

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