Write Stuff is based on the Wannabe Writers meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it.
I use this meme to talk about the ups and downs of writing, what I'm working on, and, in November, to chronicle my NaNoWriMo journey.
I did something a couple days ago that I have never done. I warned in my last Write Stuff post that the beginning of my novel was subject to change, and it did. I was reading over the 19 new pages I had written for my revision, all of them at the beginning. There were some good bits, but in those 19 pages, the story wasn't really moving. There was some back story, some moments between characters to show relationships, a bit of a glimpse at the magic in the world I was building.
But it wasn't working. The place where everything really starts is when my main character arrives at her latest boarding school. All the back story and her relationships with her family and the people she knows before arriving at this school are important, but they aren't exactly the focus of what she has to do. My character is struggling with how to be at this school, and for the first time, not get expelled on purpose. She has to be good, or what she wants she will never get. That is her motivation and her challenge. She is used to being the brat and making trouble, but now she can't. That is where the story really is.
So I cut those 19 pages. Moved every word of my revision to the trash. I was expecting to feel some dread that now I had to start over (again!), but it was such a weight off. I think I have known for a long time where my story should start, but I was afraid to get rid of all those words that felt important, even if they weren't as necessary as I thought. Now I have 5 pages done, and in my opinion, they are better. Not perfect, of course, but the story definitely feels like it is happening instead of coming up soon.
If you want, compare my old beginning with my new one. The old one had some info and some insight about my character, and this one does as well, just in a different way. This new opening also puts us right at the beginning of my character's journey instead of acting as a prelude to the action.
Have you had to delete a bunch of your novel?
How did you feel and do you think it helped?
Let me know in the comments! ^_^