Getting out of the house helped today. I’ve been moldering within the first 50 pages of a revision for a few weeks now.
Let me clear: This isn’t a revision of the genteel sort. This is a massive overhaul. This is a rewrite, a restructuring, an upheaval.
Just now I cleared my way through the first 50, and through the next ten pages. I realized that I was stuck-ish (I never admit to writer’s block) because I’d softened my protagonist too much. We’re irrational creatures, we humans, with contradictory impulses and emotions that coexist especially in times of stress and grief. Anger and sadness, resentment and guilt. Inner conflict, need I say more?
Over on Murderati, Stephen Jay Schwartz discussed writing tight. Because, officially, the manuscript isn’t a first draft, I’ve been caught up in writing as lean as possible. Oddly enough, his post got me thinking that I need to liberate the manuscript, which is to say, treat it as a first draft all over again. The truth is that I still don’t feel sure enough about the upheaval to spend the extra time it takes to write tight.
I’ll write in all my wordy and expansive glory, and revise tight later.