Well... at least the first phase.
I've completely re-read the first draft of my novel and notes cover almost every single page. Plot holes have been noted, lines crossed out, sections need to be rephrased, and chapters have to be completely rewritten. I then took a few days off of editing to brainstorm. I knew what needed to be worked on and had ideas of how to improve the story. It was messy, disjointed, and not very exciting.
I thought and thought and thought. I brainstormed and came up with several different solutions - but which one would be the best?
A few days ago, I narrowed it down to two options for how the story would go and chatted with a friend of mine who knows my story well and always has good ideas.
By the end of the conversation, we both knew which solution was the best.
It was the painful one that I didn't want to admit.
The one where a character would get cut, major scenes taken away, leaving blank chapters which would need to be filled.
It made me sad to think about. I loved this character and this little story-line they had. I wanted to expand on it... but I knew it wouldn't work in the long run. Maybe, eventually this piece would fit in somewhere else along the line. In another book perhaps. But not this one.
Then over the weekend, I sat down again at Starbucks for a couple hours, and plotted. I outlined the second draft. More brainstorming, more thinking, more ideas filled the page. It took me awhile to figure out what needed to be added to make the story flow better. How to focus on what was necessary and how to build up to the various events. By the time I was done... I was so excited!
Yes, I'm going to miss those old parts and that one character, but what's going to come of it will be amazing! There are still holes which need to be filled and story-lines that need to be worked on. But I have an outline. Another step closer to that final product at the end.
Sometimes pruning hurts - but when we take away what isn't needed we make way for something new and beautiful.