An in-between phase

I am in a phase of my writing process where I am not doing any writing.

The first draft is finished. My characters have taken my story in new directions, so my original outline is outdated. Sometimes the plot I envisioned just doesn’t suit how the character’s story has evolved.

This is the stage where I re-read everything and make notes about what’s missing. I already know I abandoned one character in the middle of the book, forever in prison while the rest of the characters (including her loving son) go on without her. I see places where I’ve jumped from one dramatic scene to another, without explaining what happened in between.  It’s kind of sad to see how many flaws there are. And that’s without getting into things like spelling and punctuation.

This will take a few days. If I’m smart I’ll even set everything aside for a week before I start writing again. Sometimes the subconscious mind works out story problems while the rest of me is busy with other things.

Published authors always emphasize that they rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. I never really wanted to believe that, because it made writing too hard. Also, it’s difficult to throw out so much of my work that really seemed good when I first wrote it. But it’s true — and sometimes it can even be enjoyable.

We’ll see if I find it so enjoyable when I start to do that tomorrow.