Scaffolding your story

It’s five o’clock in the morning and already I’m sitting at my desk, drinking my almond-cinammon cappuccino that I’ve learned to master myself ready for another day of work. Days have passed since this story was just an idea–something that I told myself that someday I would write. Fast forward a couple of months and now I have a 400 page first draft. Half way through I knew I would need to cut a lot–40,000 words to be exact. So now one chapter at a time I am simultaneously getting through draft #2 and draft #3. How? By reading each chapter that came before a couple of times to not miss a beat in the story. Now, I know most writers will say that you have to keep going and not go back so as to not redo a part over and over before you even reach the end. Well, during my first draft I kept going even as the story was changing–developing–with every chapter I wrote. Like I mentioned I knew halfway through that I needed to fix so many things in the beginning chapters.

Which brings me to where I am currently in my revising of the those chapters which needed SO much work. Basically everything needed work–no one writes a glorious perfect first draft. As I’m revising a series of scenes I am going back to the moments before and after (according to where the related characters are in the story) to make sure it all fits. Then I move on to the next do the same BUT go back to where I was previously to make sure it fits/flows/makes sense. After that I move on to a new scene and after that new scene I go back to the previous two scenes or related scenes to repeat the process. My way of scaffolding the story, building upon each scene until I get to the end.

Some days seem longer than others, somedays are too short, some days I just wish I could go back to ten years ago when the idea of this story first popped into my head and write it right then and there. It’s been tough. It’s sucked. But, I believe in this story, I more than anyone want to read this story and I’m not just saying this because I wrote it. I want to know what happens next and that is what keeps me writing. I’ve got several other project ideas that I’d like to write, but none are more urgent than this after all it has literally been sitting in the back of my mind for a really long time. I feel and know that time is now.

Keep writing y’all!



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