Talking to myself: A logical look at breaking my own rules.

Hey logical side are you awake?

Bitch, I might be.

Yeah, I feel you. Insomnia and a puking husband.

Seriously.

However, there’s something I need to work my way through.

You have coffee, right?

Yup. With the Boba Fett Creamer!

Who thought I was joking?

Fine, lay it on me.

It’s the Red Witch.

Yes, that has been an ongoing problem, hasn’t it?

I just don’t know what to do. I know that finishing the draft is always preferable, otherwise you get stuck in the “constantly-rewriting-the-beginning” loop.

Neil knows what’s up!

But you are really thinking about ditching this draft?

Yeah, I am. There’s some huge pacing issues, and I had a great idea for a new opening chapter, because a lot of critiques pointed out that–

Do you have to list your reasons?

Well… yeah… I mean if I’m going to break one of my own writing rules, I should have a damn good reason, right?

You do. Look, you’ve been at this for a while. Two years of self-publishing shorts, four novels written… you know how to write. Yes, the “finish the damn draft” rule is a good one. But you aren’t doing this arbitrarily.

I don’t have an ending, though. Working without an ending means that I can’t actually get the beginning right.

Ignoring that this next draft won’t be your last, yes, you do have an ending. Okay, you don’t have a current ending written out, but you know how this story ends. You have for three years now. 

True. But–

And you have finished two drafts of this novel. You’re simply contemplating revising this draft again.

Yes, but, and this “but” is very important, this is the first huge revisionary draft and I haven’t finished it.

I get that. It’s a big deal. You radically changed some characters and the timeline. You want to see how that changes the ending. 

Yes.

However, are you changing the ending?

The ultimate ending, who lives and who dies? No. No plans on it.

Not just who lives and who dies, but the moral and emotional upheavals the manner of those death create and the lessons the characters learn along the way, do they change?

As far as I can see, no. The biggest changes are how we get there.

But that almost always changes from draft to draft anyway.

True.

The important thing here is that you’re so busy contemplating all the flaws in this current draft you aren’t writing it. You spent last week reading and rereading, but not getting any words down.

Yeah, that really has been bugging me.

You have a lot on your plate. You’re publishing, on top of the monthly flash series, the weekly comic, and the daily writing blog. You’re also gearing up for another story for the Bowman’s Inn. And in the middle of all that, you gave yourself two weeks to work on your novel. So pay attention to your instincts. If you want to write a new opening chapter, then do it. If you want to spend a few days fixing the timeline, have at it. After all, this is supposed to be the working draft, one step closer to a finished product. You have some critiques, and the changes you want are based on them and your own knowledge of storytelling. You are doing exactly what needs to be done.

Okay… am I really justifying this?

Of course, you are!

i dunno

However, there’s are legitimate reasons behind this justification. Most of which are genuinely reasonable. So, stop feeling guilty about breaking some stupid ‘rule’ and get some words down.

You’re right.

No, you’re right.

Now, I’m confused.

Bitch, get writing!

Right, right, on it.

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