It’s quite incredible, just how much was missing from my first draft. I’ve always heard that the first draft ought be just you getting down the bulk of the content, which I did to great effect, I think. Certainly in retrospect, it was purely bulky content. The amount of new writing I’ve done so far has pushed Chapter Eight up to Chapter Sixteen, I’ve added almost 30k words and god knows how many pages. It’s starting to fill out though, that’s for sure. I’ve already done more work for this novel than I could ever have imagined doing two years ago.
It goes to show it doesn’t matter how many stories you struggle to complete, how many ideas you get through, how many times you can’t get past page 30 or page 60; all it takes is one idea, one day, one moment even, for something to click and then the world takes on a life of its own. I started with ideas for cities and histories, which led onto characters, but instead of using those men and women, I gave them children and grand-children and great-grand children until I found the present day King of Agia. Since then, I’ve built in civil wars, world wars, martyrs and heroes, I’ve planted trees and flowers and set up campsites for wearied travelers. I’ve written books for the Magisters to study and created a pantheon for the church, I’ve lined roads with hedges, trees and flowers, I’ve put in birds, hedgehogs, spiders, I have seen farmers on the hillside that I might never meet and put men in prison for unspeakable crimes, all because I once named a city Cadan Danwr.
I’ve heard on several occasions that by the time you’ve finished redrafting your story, it will be almost unrecognisable when compared to your original first draft. I was operating in naiveté, it seems, for a rather long time. I thought that I could simply re-work anything that didn’t quite sit right, but the plot holes are beginning surface and already I’ve had to shift chapters to new spots, re-write and re-work all manner of minor plot points for continuity.
I’ve had some major developments today which have completely changed some aspects of the story and I have come to a particularly problematic stumbling block that is giving me a bit of stick. It’s all part of the job, I’m sure, there’s just a part of me that is still dealing with frustrations from my days in education when I learned that my mind is not well adapted to handling complex situations or managing multiple lines of thought. I’ve managed so far to juggle about 6 different storylines, which I’m trying to weave together, and the more complicated it gets, the harder it is to keep track. Thank God for Scrivener, though, it’s corkboard feature will hopefully prove endlessly beneficial.
It’s a trial and a half, to be sure, and I’m beginning to think the re-draft is going to take longer than it took to write the damn thing in the first place. It’s a difficult task, doing this for the first time, I hope it get’s easier.
I’m quite excited to see the upcoming adaptation of this Stephen King tale, but then, anything with King’s name on it generally inspires excitement. Granted, not all of his work has been done justice, but I would argue that, as an author, he has enjoyed far more success in this regard than most. Rose Red is one example that I stand by gladly, if largely due to the casting of a young Emily Deschanel. But it was good on its own merit too, of course. Bag of Bones is another, despite early reservations regarding a certain lead.
Primarily, I think, it’s just anticipation ahead of the future Dark Tower series, whensoever it sees daylight. I don’t think I’ll comment on the Carrie remake. I’ve got to say though, my lips quiver when I think of a John Cusack led ‘Cell’ film. I just hope I don’t have to wait too long.