On Revising, Editing, Storytelling, & Characters

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On novel drafting, I made it past revisions on a pivotal scene that had been stuck in my head for a while. It needed...something. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, and I had to let it sort of percolate within the broader story.

Looking back after revisions, it should have been obvious what it needed, but it wasn't.

Why not?

Well, when I first wrote it, I thought I knew the story I was telling. I thought the same thing on the first set of edits. And on the first big revision. And on the subsequent line edits, and then again, and again...

Each time, I was carving this big block of a story and these vague shapes of characters; every time I did it, they became richer, more detailed, and alive.

At some point—I'm not sure when precisely—everything clicked into place. Everything about the story, the setting, and the characters have taken on a life of their own in a way that's difficult to put into words. #imawriterlol

It's a bit like I wrote a play, hired stage actors, and then we all did a few rehearsals. After a while, the line between rehearsals and real life became fuzzy. Now, it's like it never was a play at all. There never were actors, rehearsals, or a fuzzy line.

I was simply struggling to tell a story that already was.

It's no longer a struggle.

What's New?

  • A lot of novel revisions. Of course, I can't tell you about it. You know, the writer's code and all that. I know at least one person will get that reference. Somewhere, sometime in the future, maybe someone else will. For suresy shore.
  • Next Week: What do you get when you combine horror, ghosts, comedy, and Cantonese Opera?