Scott D. Parker
You ever make a choice that seems really weird but you give it a go just to see what happens?
So I'm writing this book here in Houston and, like I wrote last week, I was wondering if some chapters from a previous book could be used in this new one. Turns out the answer is a resounding yes. With a few tweaks, here and there, it should do nicely.
In order to have all the various chapters in one place, I dragged the older chapters into Scrivener and set them up in order that they fall in the new story. Have to say that, when I did an initial compilation, it was mighty gratifying to see the word count jump upwards by 25,000.
I had a problem, however. The old text was written in first person POV, the new stuff in third. And some of the characteristics of some of the characters were different than I now wanted them. And some of the minor details needed some nips and tucks. So I arrived at a fork in the road, one I had experienced before: continue ahead writing new chapters or halt forward progress and fix the old words now.
When I wrote my first book, I was well into Act III of my story when my two primary reviewers asked a simple question: Hey, Scott, what are the villains in your story doing while Harry Truman and his partner are galavanting around solving a mystery? I knew perfectly well what they were doing, and I spelled it out for them. They just grinned and told me to put all that in the book. I stopped writing Act III to go back and fill in the holes.
I've decided, at this precarious stage of this current book, to do the opposite. I've been making copious notes on things I know I need to fix, but leaving the fixing for later. I want to get to "The End" first but making major changes. Then, with the entire book complete, I can tweak what needs tweaking. Moreover, if there are things that I think need changing now, perhaps it'll be in line with the story later. It's a scary decision, but I'm actually looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
For all of y'all who face(d) a similar crossroads, what was your choice?
Event of the Week: Noir Night 2011 at Houston's Murder by the Book. I got to meet Megan Abbott, Sara Gran, and see Duane Swierczynski again. Had a great time. Look for a write-up soon.