I had another one of those writing days where I print out pages, cut them apart paragraph by paragraph, and sometimes line by line, and tape it together to try to make sense of it all. I think I ended up moderately successful (finally) and have set aside the final read-through until tomorrow. But this brings me to a lesson today. Delete.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “kill your darlings” and it definitely felt that way today. I had written and rewritten chapter 74 on Lazarus Machine a dozen times. I had paragraphs I really liked but they didn’t seem to fit together. I had two paragraphs I liked, but they said the same thing. I wanted to mention this and that and the other thing, when, in the end, it all just really needed to go. I had to delete things.
I’ve been stuck on this chapter for ages (mostly not working on the story at all because I was so frustrated with it) and what really sucks is that it’s not even a particularly important chapter! I won’t say it is a filler chapter, but it kind of is. The last chapter I posted ended with something of an exclamation mark, and this one is where the characters move into doing their own things. Sherlock has his investigation and John has his medical work.
I swear, I can see the end of this story and the moves needed to get it there, but I’m just not putting in the work it takes to get it that final few steps.
At any rate, I managed to finally slice down the pages to a flowing, comprehensible chapter and not even feel the need to post things in my outtakes bin. Yay!
On the other hand, I have only one more day left of my vacation and I am nowhere near close to accomplishing any sort of writing goal I had for myself. It is April, and Camp NaNoWriMo has started. Now, I’ve never managed to do anything during Camp, no matter what month. This year, I told myself that I would take my week off and use NaNoWriMo principles to push forward in Lazarus Machine to try to at least draft through the end. I was going to skip over where I had difficulties and press through the next chapters. Easier to have a sloppy draft to work with than nothing.
I didn’t make that happen. I didn’t say to myself every day that I was going to push myself to that goal. I admit that. I did try making myself sit down most days and focusing on it, but some days it was only successful for ten minutes, even if I was butt-in-chair for nine hours. I am highly distractable these days.
Nothing was helped by immediately screwing up my previously reasonable sleep schedule and sleeping from about five in the morning until noon each day. For pete’s sake. This means that when I work at 7am on Tuesday, I will likely get no sleep at all. Le sigh. My own damn fault. I’m just not a very structured individual, am I? 🙂