Wednesday, March 16

Fixing the Unfixable?

it's something I think we all do from time to time - try too hard to fix something in our wips that is broken. A limping along plot, a character with no purpose, a sub-plot that is overpowering the main plot. You know, the big things we find during revisions. The painful things.

I pulled out an older manuscript the other day, remembering when I first began revising that particular manuscript. How every word seemed wrong for a few weeks, every chapter went through three or four incarnations and every character was created, revamped and revamped again because there was just something "wrong" that I couldn't put my finger on. I was so frustrated that I couldn't fix the problems that I just put the manuscript away. Seriously. Closed out the file on my computer, saved it to disk and removed it from my desktop. I was hoping I'd completely forget about it and I did for a while - but the story kept coming back and each time I thought about it I'd jot down those ideas thinking I'd incorporate those new ideas when I reopened the ms.

Six months and one novella later (I needed a change of pace and started something new...big surprise, I know!) Just after Christmas I pulled that manuscript back out, tossed all the ideas I had had in the interim, shredded all the character revamps and deleted that nit-picky subplot. And found that I liked the basis of the story. So that is where I began the newer version. It worked. I'm wrapping up the re-revisioned manuscript now, and I'm wondering, what do you do when you're stuck in edits/revisions? Is putting away a story something you've tried and did it work/not work?


  1. I have an old manuscript that I won't even think about revising right now. It has way to many problems. I haven't opened that file in about two years.

  2. I love how sometimes you can take out just one piddly little thing and it will bring new life.

  3. The ms that I can't let go of is Burn. I drag that thing out every so often, revise, change, rewrite and CPs and all others still hate it.

    But I love it.

    In fact, I've thought of some things to add to it lately...

  4. I'm so glad taking a break worked for you! For me, I can't let go of something once I've started. Work straight through to the bitter end.

  5. What a great feeling, Kristi. Good deal.