October 27, 2008: The Best Laid Plans…

Last night, I printed out the second scene and started reading. After a page and a half, I found myself running out of steam. the scene almost feeling as if it’s resisting me, pushing me away. So I quit for the night.

As I was setting my papers aside, a little voice murmured “Maybe start from scratch.” The notion took root, working on me, so that when I pulled the scene out a lunchtime, I was looking to see what out of the scene’s six pages I wanted to keep. That turned out to be three paragraphs of description.

I wouldn’t do this if a new version of the scene weren’t pushing at my imagination. It’s that pressure that makes me start fresh — it’s easier and more straightforward to start with a (mostly) blank page, than to try to rewrite everything so that it lines up with my new idea of the story.

One reason for that is the existing scene puts me in a mindset that’s no longer true. The Ilsabet I’m writing now is subtly different than the Ilsabet I wrote then, and it’s hard to hold onto those subtle differences when I’m in the POV of the old Ilsabet.

So I’m not going to try. There are already enough elements to hold in mind when writing or revising a scene without adding another one if it can be avoided.


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