Monday, September 22, 2014

Never-Ending Restarts

I haven't written in a while. This last week, I decided to work on a 'sword and sorcery' fantasy I started a couple years ago. Immediately, I ran into a problem. I couldn't locate the file.

I've changed computers since I began work on the story...and I could have sworn I moved all the files. But evidently not. I fired up the older computer and started running search patterns for various key words. Nothing. Nothing. No files.

Then I sat back and thought about the various bits that would set it apart from other stories and began a new series of searches. In the end, I found five files--each with a different story--but the same beginning. With a deep sigh, I created a new folder and stashed them all together.

And then I began to read them. One by one. It was like reading a 'choose your adventure' book. All of them started out with the same three chapters. Then they diverged wildly. All had parts in the later sections I would like to include in the final book.

I don't work well doing rewrites electronically. Back when I started writing, most writers did that first draft by hand and I find I work best that way still. On the other hand, if I print out all five files, I'll end up with a stack of paper like the one in picture.

I foresee a week of winnowing. Mark the bits I want to keep and print them out. Then cut and paste. And finally...see what I can make of it. Those on the outside of the writer's world think it's a linear process. For me...not so much. My brain tends to leap around from one scene to another. Then I have to arrange them like a jigsaw puzzle, making all the pieces work. If I succeed, that's a miracle.

I bet you didn't know I'm a miracle worker, did you?


  1. I have enjoyed all of your published books. It is so worth all of the hard work.
    Looking forward to when you have finished this winnowing work and send it to someone who will make it available to me.

    I don't mind paying for something that I really enjoy.

    1. Susie, you're my staunchest fan and you don't know how much it means to me! Thank you!