IWSG First Wednesday of September – Structural Renovation

This is my second monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group post, which you can read more about here. It’s all about sharing fears and concerns with other writers, and cheering each other along. As a fairly anxious one myself at the moment, it’s nice to read others’ blogs and see we all go through similar things on our journeys! (Though I wouldn’t wish some of my paranoid worries on others πŸ˜‰

Right now is also a #Writemotivation goal month (see my last post) and I’ve pledged to get about 28k written on my WIP which is rolling merrily along at the moment. However, as fortune would have it, a lovely friend gave me some much-needed feedback on MS#1, so I jumped on the chance to make changes.

At first it was like looking at a cluttered attic and having no clue where to start to get it organised. I *thought* I was done. I *thought* it was ready. I think it’s come a really long way in the 6-7 years it’s been kicking around, and I’ve re-written the thing from scratch twice. This time it just needs tweaking, shifting, and a few new scenes added to replace some hangers-on that were simply in the mix because of their age, not because they necessarily added anything.

So, Leigh, a massive thank you!

My current thought (I won’t say worry, but…) is simply changing things that have been in this story for so long. Darlings, I suppose. To me, anyhow. It’s like removing supports in a house you’re renovating… which ones areΒ really necessary to keep the structure sound, and which ones are just decoration?Β 
When I was 7, my family was renovating our 100-year-old house and turning the main bottom floor room, which was a gravel garage, into a family room. There were a few poles, one metal pipe and a support in the middle of the room. I wasn’t old enough to know that they could figure out which could go and which needed to stay, but I remember vaguely having nightmares that the house would collapse if they took the wrong one down (so they might, y’know, need my help figuring it outΒ to make sure).

I definitely don’t need my story to collapse! I’m so ready to be done, and by ready, I mean, THIS MONTH, for real, polished and done. I believe in this story, but I needed the beta feedback, and I’m grateful to others reading it now as well. I think everything I’m targeting is frivolous, and drags the story down. But I guess I’ll find out if it still holds up when I send a final draft to some betas!

Have you had experience taking out long-standing scenes that you took for granted? How did you feel afterwards? I feel a bit like I’m cutting limbs off, but I think they’re superfluous limbs. πŸ™‚

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6 thoughts on “IWSG First Wednesday of September – Structural Renovation

  1. Just popping by from the IWSG to say hi and WOW!!!!

    What an inspiration you are honey! 6-7 years! GO YOU! πŸ™‚

    I had 65,000 words of a novel that needed a total rewrite and put it away in a drawer because I just couldn’t face it πŸ™

    You must really beleive in this, which is great! πŸ™‚

    Good luck with the tweaking, I hope you find a home for it, you deserve to πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks Vikki! I have to admit, 3 of those years I was back in full-time university so I wasn’t spending much time at all on this story, but it’s been around quite awhile! I’ve had those days where I want to bury it and move on, but I’m also extremely stubborn and don’t want to give up…yet. I think I’ve got one more batch of agents to query when I’m done with this round of revisions, and then I may be at the drawer stage πŸ™‚ Thank you for stopping by, much appreciated!!

  2. Found you through Alex’s IWSG and despite what you said, you are an inspiring example for me. I’m nowhere near the revising stage but already feel that it’s going to be a long haul. But I do love writing and hopefully, my passion can lift me up when the going gets tougher. Good luck to you but I’m sure you’ll see this to the end.

    1. Hi Anne! Thanks for stopping by, I’m going to come check out your blog now πŸ™‚ I’m a wee bit behind in blog reading this week – argh!

      I really appreciate your comments, and I do know that for some people, they don’t need to spend so long on a book. But I think a lot of people probably write their first “learner” story and then move on, and in the moving on they’ve taken what they’ve learned and need to spend less time on their next, and so on.

      But with me, while I was able to dive into my 2nd one much quicker and I feel more certain from the get go what this story is going to be like (as opposed to years of shaping the old one I’m querying), I guess I’m too stubborn to give up on the 1st. I still see a story worth telling, but it’s had to change a lot to get to that point. And maybe no agent will ever agree with me, but I’m not going to let it rest…yet πŸ™‚ Your passion WILL lift you up. When writing gets in your soul it seems like nothing can stop it, even if it takes a break now anda gain πŸ˜€ Good luck to you, too!

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