Last week, I took a day to reread my work in progress, THE SEER AND THE MADMAN, in order to find the story’s ending. I read, I jotted down notes, I forgot about it — and then one night later, as I was trying to fall asleep, the ending came to me. I jumped out of bed and scribbled down the basic idea.
On Monday morning, as I worked out the idea, I realized I had another problem. I had taken too many missteps in the book. The story was there, but the telling was jerky. As I scrolled through the novel, I began to see that there was no real way for me to smooth out the jerkiness without starting completely over. Layering in and taking out small things is easy. But when entire chunks of scenes need to be replaced with new material, I find it best to start the scene from word one.
In the case of THE SEER AND THE MADMAN, I thought it best if I start completely over. I felt the ending had far-reaching consequences, and that if I tried to layer in these changes, I would drive myself made. So using Scrivener’s split-screen ability, I put the old version on the left side of my screen and started writing the new version on the right side of the screen. Over the last five days, I’ve been able to write … or rewrite … or rekey — whatever you want to call it — about 30,000 words. Which is about half the novel. Some scenes needed no major changes, but I rekeyed them anyway in order to maintain a consistency of thought throughout the novel.
My hope is to have this sucker finished by next Friday, October 3 — but that might be pushing it. While I know the ending, it’s not written. So even if I finish the week after, I’ll be happy. My over-all goal is to have it out by the end of October, if not sooner.