Saturday, August 14, 2010

It Is With A Heavy Heart...

It is with a heavy heart that today I announce what I think I have secretly known for some time. A Troll Wife's Tale can't be revised. It's going to need to be re-written.

Not the whole thing, just the middle third or so. When I took out one subplot, I just left too many holes. Besides, while trying to revise, I've discovered a couple of scenes that need to be in this book that make it work better. (Seth the bartender, for example. He's going to appear in several scenes now, not just one.)

The scene where Troll Wife gets shot? That's going to have to move much closer to the end.The replacement subplot where the guardian and the siren fall in love? That will have to be strengthened which means it needs more scenes. (Little scenes, but still scenes.)

All of this means that I probably won't be ready by the end of this year to send it out to agents. I hate to say that, because it sounds like yet another perfectly good and logical excuse to put off sending this story out into the world, and because it feels like failure. Yet again I've failed to meet a goal for this story. But I also think it's true.

This also means I need to create a new outline. The original outline for this book was created on 3x5 cards, and those cards are long gone. (Note to self, in the future, save your outline.) And, knowing me as I do, something shiny helps with this process.

So, does anyone have any outlining software they recommend?


  1. I'm sorry about the extra work, but you know what? It's going to be amazing and well worth it! I'm in the same boat with wanting to query by the end of this year, but I have to remind myself to slow down and make sure it's as perfect as I can get it.

    I don't have any recommendations for you (sorry :( ), but if you find any good ones, please share! I think a lot of people use an Excel spreadsheet?

  2. yes the realisation sucks but it's gonna knock the socks of agents once done :) and I don't use anything special for outlines. I just make as detailed a list as poss of the BIG events and then I figure out a timeline and map them over that. All the little 'scenes' that have occurred to me get fitted into the timeline and then I run through it in my head as though it were a movie to see what else I need :)

  3. Well, this just proves you're a real writer. You're dedicated to your work, and you want to see it through to the ugly end. And remember, they say "Writing is Re-writing." Just wait til you get a revision sheet from your publisher!

    I don't know of any outline software and even if I did, I wouldn't buy it because outlines originate with the devil. :) BUT I did attend a workshop conducted by the author Vicki Hinze a few weeks ago. She gives a lot of her time helping other writers, and on her website is a wealth of information for us. In her workshop, she mentioned setting up a Novel Notebook--I believe this would be helpful to you. If you go to her website, you'll see where she has a writer's library. I bet you'd find some great ideas there, including that Novel Notebook.

    I will say that with a major revision like this, don't completely delete what you are cutting. Create a separate word doc and label it "Cut Scenes". Then when you makes cuts, just paste it into that doc. You may want bits and pieces of it later or even just a phrase you loved. Also, you may want to make another word doc for "Scene Ideas/Revisions" for when the muse visits unexpectedly and you don't want to alter your actual manuscript at the moment.

    Otherwise, visit that writer's library, hang in there, stay the course, and maybe have a glass of wine. But see it through, because the world is waiting to read your work!

  4. I know it's disappointing, but if you think it will make the story better, then it's worth all the extra effort. One thing I've learned is that you can't really put time limits on your writing. Goal setting is great and I applaud you for that. But don't think you've failed because your goal date passed. If you have to make a new goal, that's not a failure.

    Good for you for taking the time and effort to make your story the best it can be.


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