So a couple of weeks ago I was working away on revisions for FADE AWAY and needed to think about the motivation behind a current scene. As I thought about it, the motivation began to take shape, to become a scene in and of itself. So I started to write the scene and soon I was writing furiously, page after page, until I came to the end of it and said, “Holy moley!” (I actually said something a little different, but holy moley rhymes and lightens things up a bit).
I felt elated because the scene was really strong—and then I skidded to a halt. Why? Because I realized that the scene I’d written— the one that had such raw emotion and power—meant that Sheridan, my main character, had a completely different motivation, a motivation that affected the entire book.
That meant going back and revising from page one. Again.
Revising from the beginning was pretty daunting—and a little annoying if I’m honest. I’d already had a few epiphanies with this book that had necessitated pretty big rewrites. What if there were more? I’m thinking this is an amazing shift in terms of deepening the story, but what if I’m wrong? What if I get through doing this and yet another idea pops up? Or, even more insidious, what if my subconscious was sabotaging completion of this novel because I said I’d clean and organize the basement once the novel was out on submission? 🙂
Hello, Fear, Fancy Meeting You Here
I went from feeling gleeful and excited to petrified with fear. The new motivation was intriguing and different, but I wondered if I had the skill and talent to pull it off. When I shared all of this with a few writing buddies, they said what I would have said to them in the same situation: “Of course you do.”
But I wasn’t sure. I spent an afternoon writing questions and outlining scenarios to help me figure out if this was even a viable direction, let alone one I could handle. Then I sat on it for over a week, reading the first several pages with this new motivation in mind, creating more questions for myself. Then I prayed and meditated and put it out to the Universe.
And all the responses came back the same: lose the fear (easy peas—ha!), trust the process (and yourself), and do it.
And so I will, even though I’m still a little afraid and annoyed. Because the excitement of this new direction, and a knowing that it’s right, are stronger than the fear and annoyance.
I’ll keep you posted, but if you’ve had a similar experience, I’d love to hear how you handled it!