I had a half hour of solitude before I needed to head out the door to get to work. I used the time to put the finishing touches on a chapter of my novel draft, then closed up my laptop feeling proud of myself.

Done! I thought. Another chapter completed!

I got onto the bus and opened my laptop to continue my work, but as I looked over the notes for my next chapter, all I could see was the empty spots from which I had excised several side plots in order to move the story along more quickly.

Don’t look back! I admonished myself. The chapter works- the story can move forward just the way it is.

But all those good pieces! I just couldn’t let them go.

If I don’t put them in in the first draft, they’ll never see daylight. I can always take them out again later right?

But it would mean picking apart the chapter that I’d just finished. Not only that, but it would mean ADDING a whole chapter’s worth of material that wasn’t technically in the outline: I wouldn’t just stop making progress, I’d actually be moving away from my goal…

Maybe I could just, you know, cut and paste a bit and see what I’ve got…


So I did. I set aside the finished chapter and copied the file into a new document. Version 2.0. Begin edit. I put some things in order. Other things began to fall into place.

Crap. I was going to need to add a chapter. I compensated by blending some unfinished material into one of the finished chapters: it didn’t need to stand alone anyhow, did it? Pfft. No. I could shoehorn it in.

So *technically* I finished two chapters today instead of just one, but also technically I haven’t made any forward progress. The journey continues.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on June 18, 2019.

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