As the contents of our now-previous domicile were being sorted into their respective receptacles (keep, donate, trash, what on earth possessed us to buy THAT?), my time to write/work on something was somewhat limited.
So I squeezed in a few minutes here and there when I could. Not ideal, but better than not doing anything.
One of my ongoing projects is the rewrite of the sci-fi adventure outline. There’d already been some big changes compared to the previous draft, but it seemed to still suffer from a mild case of “just too much”.
Something had to go. But what? I liked the way this world had been established, along with setting up several vital story details that would yield some mighty effective payoffs later on.
Editor Me (EM) had to seize control from Writer Me (WM), who was really digging in his heels to keep things as they were.
“Which is more important?” EM would keep asking as WM tightened his grip. “Streamlining the story to make it more effective and flow smoother, or keeping something in there just because you like it?”
WM eventually raised the white flag, admitting that EM was absolutely right.
So drastic cuts were pending. But where to make them?
After much deliberation, the cleanest break would have to be the opening sequence – which I’d put together to really establish the world of the story, but it was simply too much, and the main character isn’t even part of it.
RIP, my darlings.
This was a tough decision to make, since this sequence offered up some prime exposition. With all of it gone, I have to now figure out new and original ways to relay some of the more relevant info and story details without resorting to the dreaded cliche of a flashback. Tough, but not impossible.
But as has occurred in the past, having a more-or-less thorough outline to work with has enabled me to salvage more than I realized, along with inspiring some new approaches. A lot of groundwork had already been established, so I get to work with what’s still there, along with utilizing odds and ends from the deleted material when applicable.
This remains a work in progress, albeit a very slow and drawn-out one. But I’d rather spend more time dealing with all of these aspects of the process now, and not agonizing later on over endless patchwork fixes scattered across a completed draft.