...otherwise known as, my most recent literary endeavor. At least, that's how it feels. Bits and pieces sewn together and brought to life with an artificial spark.
Since my world shifted about a month ago, I'm in a holding pattern. No sense wasting my time marching down a path when I'm not sure where the heck I'm going. So as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I'm gutting an old book for a single title. And I'm done. I think. I've added over 22,000 words, a subplot, another bad guy (yes, the drug dealer) and some good lovin'. But does it work? I have no idea.
My writing process is unusual. I don't do rough drafts unless I'm forced by a schedule to move faster than my brain wants to. When left to my own devices, I write in final draft. I write in sequence, plowing forward chapter by chapter to the end. I have an outline and I stick to it unless struck with creative brilliance that works better than what I already had. When I'm done with a chapter, I'm done unless my critique partners say otherwise. Hopefully one day I will hone my craft to the point that I will really, truly be done and not need to go back for additional work.
This means that revisions are hard on me. They're hard on everyone, but to go backwards and start trudging through old territory is exceptionally painful. The internal navigator in me gets lost when I'm plopped into the middle of an existing story and forced to forge new ground. I get tangled in the weeds. I see where I am and where I used to go, but getting someplace new? Ugh. In time I can use my machete and work my way through it, but while standing in the jungle of my story, I can't help the nagging sensation that somehow the book has become horribly and irrevocably screwed.
I pretty much have to finish what I'm doing, take some time off, then go back and read through the whole thing to make sure all the parts of my monster have been sewn back together properly. All the plot lines are connected. Anything removed or added is consistent throughout. This is where I am now. I've finished going through the book and after some "trunk time" I'm starting to read through it for the 27th time. I pray it makes sense. I don't want to do this again. Ever. If this book doesn't sell, I'm going to set it on fire in the backyard.
Have you ever gotten so immersed in a project, you couldn't tell which way was up anymore? Be it a book or a home improvement undertaking? When you finally found your way out, was it worth the trouble?