I’ve just realized that I got lost.
What do I mean? Well, I’m lost in planning my novel. It’s evolved so much since the initial “first” draft of NaNo 2007. I didn’t plan on looking over the earlier part of my first draft until I was completely done. In reality, I’ve had to go back and “redo” the chapters for critique. And that’s where I became completely disoriented with my surroundings.
The last few times I’ve been up for critique, I’ve completely nixed a chapter and wrote one from scratch instead. I saw a better direction for the story. However, because of the new chapters, it’s completely taken me off the previous path. The road is now lost amongst the bramble.
I’m scrapping most of what I’ve written from earlier because as I go through to see what chapter comes next for critique, I realize that it’s evolved from earlier on and doesn’t follow the story that I’ve set up for my group. So, I’m pretty much cranking out second “first draft” chapters.
Frustrating much? Yeah.
Oh and all my chapters are completely out of order numerically, at least in the “master” draft. It’s becoming quite confusing and a bit daunting trying to figure out what comes next, since I’ve really diverged from the initial.
It’s like staring at a map and realizing that instead of driving through Kentucky to get to Florida, you’re now an entire state over in West Virginia. Still traveling to the same place but on a completely different road. And now you’re trying to figure out this new path so you don’t end up in Maine.
(I’m horrible at analogies but that’s the best I could come up with)
There are aspects of the original that I’m still using but I have to search for those, since most of the stuff is new or is being presented differently.
So I’ve figured out I need to re-map the beginning and develop at least a working summary so I’m not spending hours searching for the place I stopped at during critique. Part of me wonders if I should stop submitting for critique, at least temporarily, since this is all being worked on and redone. It stands to reason that if me, the writer, is confused, that will be translated to my group. I don’t want that!
On the postive side, I at least have a slight idea which new route to take. So my first draft is now a “second” first draft. Of sorts.
It’s time to sit down and map out the new path so I’m no longer lost!