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Tying Up Loose Ends

April 10, 2010

Right now, my biggest challenge is patching together the various versions of How It All Begins into one cohesive set of opening chapters. I’ve changed my mind so many times about how I want all the plot balls to get rolling that it’s proved tricky to unify everything. It’ll be a huge relief once I finally smooth it all over and I can move on! I feel like I’ve been writing and re-writing the same plot points for ages, and I’m anxious to sink my teeth (or should I say fingertips?) into new material.

Any helpful hints for weaving disparate drafts together?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2010 4:07 pm

    Pick the parts you like and smoosh them together.

    I know that sounds obvious, but there you go. Maybe choose the plot of one piece, the style of another piece, a phrase you were really proud of from over there, line them up, and then fill in the gaps. As you fill in the gaps, the parts that need changing from the existing drafts will become clear. Sometimes I find that the best stuff comes out of those “fill in the gaps” sections – things that appear seemingly out of nowhere.

  2. jschancellor permalink
    April 10, 2010 9:54 pm

    That’s a hard one to answer. I rewrote the beginning of Fable, what felt like a thousand times, until I finally had the thing in some semblance of a readable manuscript. And now, here I sit, doing yet another edit (although, this is my final edit before my editor at Rhemalda Publishing gets her hands on it–then I’m sure I’ll be doing several more).

    Make sure you aren’t weaving several stories together by accident and remember the oft quoted phrase, ‘kill your darlings’: it’s true, there are some really good, warm and fuzzy, ideas that we just have to cut for the good of the novel.

    Good luck! My best advice is to forge on, even if it feels like mucking through mud.

  3. bwchic permalink
    April 12, 2010 1:18 pm

    I have three storylines to mesh together, and I’ve found that a timeline helps immensely in making sure everything makes sense – mostly chronologically, but in other ways too.
    Bon chance :)

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