“Oh dear. Oh d-d-dear dear.” – Piglet
Here’s the thing. I realized last week, after about 26 chapters into a story originally set for about 30 chapters, that I had been working the whole time off the wrong outline. There was an opening stretch of about ten chapters that were the same. However, at the point in the story when John’s future/past ex-wife Maureen was killed, I had developed a different outline in which she was not killed. So the whole time, as I was writing – and perhaps as some of you were reading and thinking – something felt wrong to me. It took a while, but after digging through my files, I found the second and better outline. So, what to do. What to do. I’m stuck between three options, and I don’t like any.
First, I could go back and rewrite everything from where I diverted. My fear there is that it will be far wrong of me to ask you to re-read about 15 new chapters.
Second, I could just interrupt, I could set the stage for what would have been happening had I followed the better outline, and ask you to accept certain things as being different. My fear of this is you will be annoyed. It’s almost like a story in which someone writes, “It was all a dream.”
Third, I could find a way to adapt from where I am and work my way to where I should have been, however impossible it might seem to me at this point.
My fear of this is the story will seem wrong and diluted. The important part is that I let you know why things have bogged down on me. This is partly why I have been taking so long between chapters – because I felt like something was wrong, and it turns out that I was right that I was wrong. Right?
So, please be patient. If I have lost you from the story, I completely understand. However, this might also be an explanation as to why things just weren’t “clicking” as they should have been. Thanks for playing along. I’ll let you know when I’m back on track. Meanwhile, there are some snacks in the kitchen. Help yourself.
PS – after not much deliberation and much suggestion, I’m going to back up and re-write the chapters from about 10 or 11 forward because it will eventually have to be rewritten anyway. I’m extremely embarrassed and sorry for making you read all that. Drinks on me!