Gift of the Dryads Rebooted

You know how you phone IT support and the first thing they do is ask whether you’ve turned your computer off and on again?  Okay, so I don’t know if they actually do that, but the joke is common enough and rebooting (correctly) can solve a multitude of computer problems.  I’m wondering if the same applies to novels.

I haven’t made any progress on the novel since NaNoWriMo ended (and you’ve all been super nice not mentioning it and making me feel guilty which could possibly have spurred me into action).  I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo hoping it will help me to focus, but April was just so hectic with workshops and travelling I only wrote just shy of four hundred words.

But I realised it’s not just because April was so hectic, but because the story had changed.  During the past five months I had been thinking about the novel and have been applying (in many cases unconsciously) many things I had learned and read about writing to it, that the story had morphed so much in my mind that I am now unable to continue with it.  The story that’s written down is no longer the story I am writing.  (Does that make sense?  It sounds deep.)

So, I’m starting afresh, with some huge changes.  I’m completely scrapping one of the two POVs I’d been using.  The second POV, I now realise, draws attention away from the protagonist and uses up space I need to properly develop her character.  The first act is also way too long, though cutting the second POV will, to a large extent help with that.

Unfortunately it’s not as simple as merely deleting the second POV.  I’ll have to rewrite some of those scenes in whole or in part while also tweaking the existing scenes from the protagonist’s POV so everything fits.  And then I still need to figure out how the story is going to end.

When rebooting a computer it pretty much restarts on it’s own (unless, you know, you need to run it in safe mode to fix something first).  I have a feeling rebooting a novel is going to be a tad more difficult.  Ah, well…

Word counter reset to zero.  Let’s go!

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10 thoughts on “Gift of the Dryads Rebooted

  1. A re-boot takes re-writing to a whole new level. I’ve gotta do the same to the novel I’ve been picking at since 2008 – it keeps getting hijacked by non-fiction … and of course the ideas I have now are way better than the ones I had in 2008 (though I am not sure my 2008 self would think so, necessarily…)

    1. I’m now at that point which you call conscious incompetence. I know what I have written thus far is mostly rubbish (there are a few good scenes which I’ll probably change very little, but mostly rubbish) and rather than plod along trying to finish it I think starting over is just easier.

      Just out of curiosity, are you willing to divulge the genre of said novel? (I know you like to play things close to the chest, so I won’t ask for more than that 😉 )

      1. I will drop obscure hints!
        1. It is not Clancy-style mil-porn, or urban fantasy, and it has absolutely NO zombies.
        2. J R R Tolkien has to be one of my favourite authors.
        3. I particularly like European operatic metal (Epica, Therion, Nightwish, etc), though neither my wife nor the neighbours do.

    1. Are you referring to all those song titles you’ve been sending me? Actually I’ve found Hans Zimmer’s music to be very conducive to writing. Especially the soundtrack for Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End.

      1. Actually, no.

        And since I’ve never seen the movie, I have no clue about the soundtrack. However, you might be able to find something called “Space Race” on youtube. It’s by Feeling B and runs for a good half-hour.

    1. Writing a novel is definitely a marathon. And seeing as it’s my first one I’m still very much figuring out how it works. Feel free to nag me if you don’t see that word counter moving 😉

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