is there are no rules.
No rules about writing, that is. They’ll tell you not to rewrite at all until the whole draft’s done. Never look back. They’ll tell you to re-read your last scene to feel your mood, and then push forward. Put the first draft aside for several weeks once you’re done, so you can recoup your vision before getting into the first round of edits.
Just like they say a glass of wine a day is good for you, then it’s more, then it’s less. Then it’s particular kinds of grapes. Milk is good, milk is bad after a certain point in life. It’s natural, it’s unnatural–what other animals suckle different species. Etcetera, etcetera.
So my new rule about writing is this: Go with my gut. (Yeah, notice the rule is for me. I won’t mess with your rules for you.) 😉
This morning I sat before my view of a hundred New York City windows, mostly darkened in predawn slumber, and I got back into the writing groove. I went back forty pages and read my story to the end. Along the way, I noticed gaps and filled them. I itched to rewrite S, my still-forming antagonist, whose machinations are coming into focus for my lead characters. I held off, but wrote a note to myself. I can’t wait to have a field day with him.
New scenes usually come easier–once they’re imagined, the words come and come until the scene’s rounded off and demands the next one. This stuff, the details, the gaps–they don’t usually inspire many pages. They’re usually there because at some point they stumped me. But this morning, abandoning the rules in a simmering cup of coffee, I leapt into just savoring the story and rewriting at will those sections which called to me in their silence. And the words, images and new questions and answers began to come, unabatingly. (Which I am informed is not a word. Tough.) 🙂
And this read through and slight reworking of the last section of the book was great. It reminded me that I love my story, and that I can’t wait to find out what happens. If I can just translate it well in the final write-up, I hope other people might feel the same way. 🙂