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Changing Direction Mid Stream

So what happens when you change destinations with half the distance to your initial destination already covered? In real life, a number of things could occur, maybe your trip will get shorter, maybe you’ll have to backtrack past your starting point, maybe you’ll continue along the same route but further, the possibilities really are endless. But what happens if you do it with a book you’re writing?

As I mentioned in a previous post I initially planned for Child of the Seraphim to be a shorter story around twenty thousand words in length, serializing the rest of the story into smaller novellas. With this plan in mind I charged into writing the book like a fat kid running into a cake store, and initially things went great. However, I when I hit the where the end of the first novella was supposed to be I wanted to keep going. I wanted to keep telling Gideon’s story, because I didn’t feel like there was enough closure and I did not like the overall pacing and flow of the story.  So I decided I would switch gears and write the whole thing at once.

In the short term this has caused me a great deal of trouble, and essentially caused writing on the story to grind to a halt. (The fact that I’ve been focusing a great deal of my creative efforts towards Mercury, Sulfur and Salt doesn’t really help much either.) I’ve been going back over the part of the book I have written and figuring out where I was at and what I need to change or want to add now that I can slow the pace of the novel down just a bit. Suffice to say the process has been a bit frustrating.

But at the same time that it has been frustrating, but it’s given me a great deal of insight into my work and allowed me to pinpoint weaknesses within the story and help me flesh certain parts out. Enough time has passed that I can look at the work with a bit of a detached eye. For example, I initially thought my first chapter was weak and lacked any real conflict, now I feel that my first chapter is one of the strongest chapters I’ve reread thus far.

Needless to say, switching directions mid stream has caused some issues, but so far I’m glad I did it. Normally this is all stuff I would expect to cover when I went through one of my first revisions of the work, but I’m doing it now so I can get a better grip on where the story has been so I can figure out how to get it where it needs to go. I think it will pay off in the end.

Have thoughts or opinions, maybe a similar experience? Perhaps you just have some related wisdom to share? Or maybe you just have some thoughts on the situation, go ahead and leave me a comment.

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