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You know what they say about first drafts? All you have to do is finish them? Well, here’s what they should say about second drafts. They. Are. Bloody. Hell.
There I was editing away. Cutting lines and adding paragraphs, and then, like a truck driver with a load of cement who encounters an unexpected cliff, I stomped on the air brakes. About a third of the way through my first draft, I’d clearly gone on a backstory roll. Page after page of tangent, essentially, an entire chapter that could be condensed into two or three sentences and seeded in somewhere. Bottom line?
I’ve spent days now, pondering how to clean it up, how to attach the threads from what I wrote before the dump, to events that occur afterwards. Ugh.
I"m not an outliner. I wish I was, but sadly, the only way I can get a story out of me is to write it. I actually remember sitting at the computer while this pile of backstory poured out, delighted to have discovered something so important about one of my main characters. Yikes.
But, a wise writer once told me that backstory is how we writers tell ourselves our tale. So, even as I ponder how to cobble together this project into something palatable, I’m cutting myself some slack. The brain dump may be way too much detail for anyone else, but the information allowed me to make an otherwise unlikable character sympathetic.
That has to count for something, right?
I'm a few days late, but wishing all you A-Z bloggers luck for the month of April!