Let’s get meta: on the revision process

September 8, 2016 Writing  No comments

“When you’re writing a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” – John Gould according to Stephen King in On Writing

Just as the themes changed as the story developed, so too did the scenes and characters.

There is the story the readers get, and the story the writer knows.

In the first draft, Charlie was this brick wall hard-ass. He was immovable. Impenetrable. To the point that you were left wondering why Jamie even cared at all. He was, as the lingo goes, unsympathetic. Maybe he still is, but at least in the final version, he has some redeeming qualities.

And so, I guess what I’m trying to get at is, that while he is now more fully developed and alive on the page, and that version of him is real to me, so too is the early version of him. Both versions of him exist inside my head. Kind of like his own private character development that only I know.

This has happened with some of the scenes inside the book. Some of those scenes were cut entirely, some have undergone overhauls. The final versions of the scenes that ended up in the book are the best versions—or at least as best as I was capable of making them at that point in time. And they serve the story in the best possible way. But somewhere inside the tunnels of my head still exist those earlier forms of those scenes, shooting off like tangents and alternative endings.

And I suppose that’s the fun of being the creator. You get to unearth and un-layer the gem of the story, while still knowing the alternatives that could have been. Like you know the whole world, and you’re just choosing to share the best rendition of it.

 

Just some thoughts I had 🙂 

 

Until next time, farewell & may your life never cease to be filled with wonder and curiosity.

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