I realise that writing a book is like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle. Except you have to make the pieces first. You make the pieces and then work out where they go. You move them around until everything just sort of clicks into place. Then you flesh out the spaces in between.
The hardest part for me is discarding the pieces that don’t fit. That’s probably why I hate/am so bad at editing. You’ve got to murder your darlings. You’ve got to be ruthless about which make the final cut and which don’t. Instead of trying to cram everything in because you’re unable to let go.
I’ve already run into this problem with my introduction. I’ve got a good idea of how it’s going to go and I’m keeping the foot down. Just writing and writing and writing, as so many of you advised last week. I’ve gotten off to a flying start! But I can already see whole sections I’ve worked on being sent to bin.
Still, I’m trying not to think about killing my darlings just yet. I’m simply placing them in a maybe folder for the time being while I continue to write. (This helps me let them go without having to actually let them go.)
In the coming weeks and months I’ll be posting various pieces of this massive jigsaw puzzle. Some will make the cut. Others, undoubtably, will not. And you probably won’t get them in the correct order. I’m still in the constructing the pieces stage (as opposed to piecing them together stage). So, you’ll have to bare with me.
My process is a little bit messy but I realised, following all the excellent advice given last week, that I need to trust that process. I’m a free-flow pilot. When my muse goes on a tangent it’s important I let it. Even if it runs out of steam and comes to nothing. That often happens.
But I know it can connect the dots in a way my conscious mind can’t. I know that every now and then it leads me to a destination I never expected. Somewhere way better. This has already started to happen.
That, for me, is what makes the process of writing such as joy. It’s a rollercoaster. When the muse gets going, boy oh boy is it a blast. Honestly, I can’t wait to take you all along for the ride.
For now though, I just want to say thank you all for your advice and many many words of encouragement. It means a lot.
Stay tuned. This one is for all of you.
You can find more of AP2’s writing here at: https://clear-air-turbulence.com
You can also find him on Medium at: https://anxiouspilot2.medium.com
You can also email him directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
22 thoughts on “Piecing Together My Thanks”
It sounds like you are on a roll, AP! <3
Good for you! Keep going! Like you said, it’s a process! I wouldn’t advise trying to do much editing at this point, except to move those puzzle pieces around! Some of the thoughts that the subconscious muse brings up may belong in an entirely different chapter! We tend to question if something “belongs”, and can edit it out too soon, because we haven’t yet seen a few new chapters that want to be created, or we fall in and out of love with sentences or paragraphs.
I always found it best to let sections chill out for a while, to disengage my thought s from it, and then come back to that section after a week or few, and then see it with fresh eyes!
You’re right. That’s the other reason for moving my darlings I’m unsure about into another folder. Many of them will undoubtedly find there place later on down the road. I like the perspective of writing then refreshing before coming back with fresh eyes. Thanks once again Tamara. Invaluable advice 🙏🙂
My pleasure! It’s such a process and we never know where it will lead us. I learned years ago when creating art that at some point the piece takes on a life of its own and we need to start listening to it to be able to follow where it leads us. I allowed this same principle to guide me as I wrote, sometimes very surprised by where I was led, and always to something much better than had I tried to impose my will upon it.
I love the enthusiasm you have in this post, AP2. I think that even when we kill the darlings, they come back in small ways, in other stories or simply because we’re better for having written them. Right? Congratulations on your progress!
That’s a lovely way to look at it. Thank you Wynne 🙏
I’m with Tamara — don’t let writing go to ‘the bin’ forever. Sometimes chunks or segments need to percolate on their own without our critical eyes. So impressive what you’ve done so far…and for what it’s worth, I think I’m messy when it comes to writing. I’m ashamed to admit I have no “process” and while I envy folks who are painstaking and organized with outlines, I can’t bring myself to do it. Big smiles to you! 😉
Great advice. I should say that’s the other reason for placing my darlings in another folder. They often find their place later on down the road. Thank you Victoria 🙏
Well done on making such a good start.
Keep on going David! But why would you put to the bin some darlings? If they are darlings to you, I am sure you find the appropriate space for them. So, I like the idea of placing them temporarily in folders.
That’s the other reason for placing those darlings in a folder – you’re right. Thank you Cristiana 🙏
Well done AP you’ve done great getting started. I’d echo other advice, just focus on the writing. Give your mind, thoughts time to roam and explore. Editing will come later, and I think you’ll know when you’re ready.
Thank you Brenda. My mind loves a good roam! Perhaps a bit too much 😂 My issue is staying on track and not deviating from the flight plan. I also can’t help but edit before I’ve finished writing… Good advice to keep in mind 🙂🙏
Yes, that can be a challenge. It’s all too easy to go off on a tangent
Well written blogs and words of gratitude🙏
I’m in the middle of a Revise & Resubmit for a potential agent. Trying to incorporate her suggested revisions has turned into a chess puzzle of sorts. Each time I move something or delete a scene, another scene is impacted. Sometimes novel revision requires making new puzzle pieces which can leave you with a different puzzle shape or picture.
Yes. The difficult part is leaving out a piece you love that no longer works. Thank you for sharing Evelyn 🙏