You might remember way back in June, I identified one of the ways I failed at getting a novel done. In this instance, it was a matter of editing the work before it was complete.
Over the course of the last three days, I went against that piece of advice. In this instance, I think that it was something I needed to do and I'm happy with the direction the story is going in now.
Here's what happened. For twenty-two long, painful days I was working on revising two chapters out of my book. I am going to admit that I'm not the most prolific writer. An average day for me during revision is about five hundred words. A great day is about a thousand words. A day where I start questioning why I'm doing this is about two hundred words. I was in that two hundred word cycle for far too long.
I knew where I wanted the story to go. I had the entire two-chapter sequence thought out. The problem was that writing it out was a slog. Now that I survived it, I can say that the reason why I was having such a tough time was because what I was writing was boring, it brought nothing to the story or the characters, and I put it in because I felt like it should be there.
After looking it all over, I realized that the sequence wasn't authentic to the story. It negated some of the things I had resolved. I think it would have been a big fuck you to any reader who bothered to get this far into the book.
So I realized the direction that things should be going and I gutted the whole thing. Yes, you read that right. Two nights ago, I outlined the new sequence. Last night, I went through the two chapters in question with a Sharpie and a highlighter, figuring out what went and what stayed. Today, I sat down and began to rewrite the now scaled down sequence.
It needed to be done. It was bumming me out. I feel like in this case, I wasn't just unraveling my sweater. It had to be done for the sake of the story and to help me move the thing forward.