The Opposite of Popular

The online home of alleged author Victoria Leybourne

Scrooge McDuck diving into a pile of gold coins

All that glitters

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Hey, you guys, remember how one of my goals for this year was to write 52 blog posts, which I changed from specifically one per week last year because I thought it would be more achievable?

Please join me in ROFLing vigorously.

a llama rolling around on the ground

source: Giphy

I don’t feel too bad about it, because I think there’s an argument to be made that last year I was kind of using blogging as an excuse to procrastinate on writing my book. (As in “Gosh, I’d just LOVE to do the work I’ve been avoiding all day by finding pointless things to do around the house, but I’ve got a blog post to write! Too bad, so sad.”) But I really do enjoy blogging and the regular posts were finally starting to give this blog some momentum, so it kind of sucks to have lost that.

HOWEVER. I am here now. HELLO! HOW ARE YOU? THE YELLING IS BECAUSE I’M EXCITED TO BE HERE. And also because I have LEARNED SOMETHING ABOUT WRITING!

Okay, so the last time I updated you guys about The Murano Glass Slipper, I was working on expanding the 50k draft I wrote shockingly fast into one that was longer and made more sense. About a week and a half ago I was 25k into that second draft and… well, hating every second of it, basically. Which was really disappointing after how exciting the first draft was. But then I had what I think is a bit of a breakthrough.

Basically, I think I’m too afraid of deleting scenes. I have this idea that written words are Precious and Must Be Preserved because Writing Is Hard. With the MGS draft I was working on (as with lots of drafts of The Rose and the Mask), I found that I was expending a lot of effort to try and prop up parts of the story that… actually weren’t that good. I was working on this one scene in particular and just found myself thinking “This is SO. BORING.” My character was in a scene and she had no real motivation to do anything (relatable, but not great storytelling). And the thing is, I had ideas for what would give her that motivation, but I kept kicking them away because they’d involve rewriting other scenes.

But then, I thought: “Tory, you wrote all 50,000 of those words in a month. Maybe not all of them are solid gold.”

Scrooge McDuck diving into a pile of gold coins

Pictured: not my writing source: Giphy

This is a very sensible thought, and probably one you have already had several times while reading this. But I’d never looked at it that way before. My approach so far has been to cheerfully write a scene at a reasonable pace, and then spend endless, weary, miserable months trying to wedge it into a scrambled mess of a manuscript until my will is finally broken and I delete it – and painlessly write another one. It has only now occurred to me that I can just skip that middle section altogether.

So, am I starting again from scratch? No. There are several scenes from the first draft that I really love, and that are worth polishing up for the final version. And there are plenty more that will be replaced by very similar scenes – scenes that will be easier to write because I’ve written these first scenes. The plan now is to write another 50,000 words in the next month. I’m hoping that, combined with the parts of the first draft I want to keep, this will get me most of the way there! I definitely want this book published by the end of the year, and I’m even hopeful about getting it out sometime in the autumn.

I’m feeling good about this, I think. I’ve got a brand new scene-by-scene plan that blows the old plan out of the water, and that should help keep me going. I’m not certain I can do 50k in a month again, because I’m not feeling that nervous energy that forced me onwards last time – plus, last time I had a few days off work, which really helped, whereas this time I’m actually going to be super-busy at work and probably really tired when I get home. But I’m excited to give it my best shot anyway. Watch this space!

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6 thoughts on “All that glitters

  1. Isn’t wonderful when something sinks in? I look forward to reading the finished product. Happy writing.

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  2. Good luck! I’ve done the 50k words in a month before, but not since. I think I feel like I’ve already done this so it doesn’t matter…

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  3. It’s never easy to delete parts that you’ve written, even when it’s clear they aren’t working. It’s just one of those things that has to be done to make the story the best it can be.

    Anyway, good luck with your next draft, and with meeting your goal of publishing your second book this Autumn. Just remember: if it’s not ready, and you have to publish it in Winter – or even next year – that’s OK.

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