One of the biggest issues I had with my original Darkness Falling manuscript was there were a lot of places that felt improbably or stretched too far. In my own mind I would mull over the ideas as I put them into place, trying to find answer and solutions that were simplified merely so that I could jump forward to the next part in the story.
I’ve come to realize this has a lot to do with a combination of lacking in life experience and impatience. I didn’t see what was really possible for the narration of the book and instead wanted to hurry to get to the big reveals.
Another big change is that I used to write stories and put characters into them. Now I realize that characters are the story. They are what drive it and make it feel alive, rather then being generic people who just happen to be there when events occur.
As I’ve said before, Book One was far easier to put together. I think that’s because back then, the climactic event of the story was my big idea. Once I had that figured out, I never took the time I really needed to figure out the rest. During my rewrite I really started finding my characters as people and questioning their motives, making them the focus rather than the scene itself.
Multiple characters were cut for being unnecessary. May they rest in peace.
This time, I already have a good sense of my core characters and instead am see where the true story lies. It’s not about rushing through this scene just to get to the next. Instead, I’m facing the realities of the conflicts my characters were given and how they might resolve them. My editing has become a full on slash and burn, leaving only rudimentary pieces of my original ideas to build upon.
The result is a richer, more realistic story driven by characters alive in a world they seek to save or destroy. It also means full on writing rather than rewriting. I’m not editing scenes, I’m building them from the ground up. Although I hadn’t worked with Darkness Falling for years, I still always let it roll through my mind, questioning certain things. It feels good to finally resolve t hose things.
Thank you for reading. Have you ever gone back to a story and had to slash and burn? Let me know!