Scapegoat, my sci-fi, fantasy, lightly steampunked YA novel, threw me for a loop today.
It changed time zones, character connections, and villains on me without prior notice.
I blame the How Not To Write a Novel book I've been studiously paging through. Some of the authors' insightful suggestions have sunk in and now I'm tripping over myself to catch up with how those remarks have affected the way I'm thinking through Scapegoat. Relinking all the necessary plot points, finding the new twists and fleshing out the compelling motivations behind certain character choices.
Mr. Amazing Dude is convinced that the newer version is a better story. But, I rejoin, it so different from what it was at its inception.
And then it hits me. Stories, like people, have to change. They have to grow. Few brave souls would survive slogging through the first drafts of most bestsellers today. And that's a good thing. The revisions, as painful as they are, are meant for good--they make a more compelling, more nuanced, more relatable story. The crucible of novel-writing.
A small part of me cringes at the thought of hacking through most of the 35,000 words I already had on the story. Yet, I know I've been stuck at the same point in the story for several months for a reason. That reason was, the story needed to change. The plot direction I had wasn't working.
I will probably keep my unfinished first draft and occasionally mull over what it could have been, but for now, I'm just happy that I'm inspired to pick up new version of the story and hopefully finish it this time!