I will be the first to agree that taking over four years to write 100,000 coherent words of fiction seems excessive. Actually I wrote 145,000 words of fiction and only some of it was coherent, which is one of the many reasons why the rewrite is taking so long. But one good thing about taking that long is that I can really gain insight into my characters and my story. The bad thing is that after awhile, the story’s dead and I’m not rewriting, I’m just washing garbage, and I’m about three days away from washing garbage here, but another good thing is that I really love this book. When I finally let it go, it’s going to be the best I can do, which may not be good, but I’ll be proud of it anyway.
The other thing I’m doing this time which is causing me some pain is that I’m cutting entire scenes, but there’s an upside to that, too: it’ll give me outtakes to put on the blog. See, always a silver lining.
If you’re interested in seeing how much a scene can change, I’ve put the first scene up from 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 in the WiP section on this blog (see menu above). I wouldn’t read all of those if I were you, but a comparison of 2016 and 2020 is kind of startling. I really do just throw up my first drafts into the computer and clean them up later. Which is why anybody who attached to that throwaway draft of Lily should let go: even if I was going to write it, WHICH I AM NOT, it wouldn’t look anything like that in the end. How much would it change? Go read the first scene from 2016 and then read the current 2020 version. I know there are people who write a scene and that’s it, it’s good. I am not one of them. There’s blood on every semi-colon of my work.
Here’s the first scene page from the WiP’s menu up above. There are five versions of the first scene, but as I said before, I’d skip the middle three and just compare the first and the last. Then in the comments below you can discuss how the hell I ever got published in the first place.