Friday, September 01, 2006

Addition and Subtraction

As I've mentioned, I'm in the middle of redrafting my novel. It's a pretty unique experience, I have to say; I don't feel like I'm writing a new story even if I am writing a lot of new material.

I think that's a good sign. On the other hand, I am putting in a lot of new material, and I'm not even halfway through the main story, yet. There's a lot of action that happens later on in the course of the book, and part of me fears that I might be delaying things from 'happening' by sticking too much in the front; conversely, there's also a lot near the end that I think I'm going to just rip out wholesale (but, then again, I'm probably going to replace it with something else).

It's been pointed out by folks who read my original draft that I have a story that's driven by an ensemble cast. I'm not sure why I tried writing a novel without one single "main" character, but
looking at the story, I think it would be hard to do tell it the same way if I just had a main protagonist (for you videogamey types out there, trying thinking of Final Fantasy VI). With that in mind, I am a little less worried about developing things more thoroughly in the beginning, because I intend it to be an emotional story, and so I want to reader to care about the characters and to understand them and their motivations. It's probably going to be a longer story, and while I don't think that longer necessarily means that something is better, in this case, I think it'll turn out that way.

I'm also surprised by how little preexisting sections need to change in order to account for the more sweeping changes elsewhere. Naturally, there are some major things I do need to change, but comparatively-speaking, I expected that the tweaking would be more extensive. My fundamental story hasn't changed all that much, though, so maybe it makes sense that a lot of what I've already written can stay the same. Perhaps the second half of the redrafting process will see some very different changes, though; I expect that the path to the story's climax will change pretty drastically, and the dénouement and resolution will need to change accordingly.

All in all, it's a rewarding experience, albeit an unusual one that I'm definitely not used to. I'm under the assumption that it's going well, but I don't think I'll know until I'm finished if it's gone as well as it seems to be going now!

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