The problem with my writing process is that sometimes I have too much of an open mind to new ideas.
So here I am, printing out the 2014-15 version of The Balance of Light (the version that still has the original first chapter I excised a short time ago), all 566 pages of it, and knowing that it’s way too damn long for a single book. I’m still trying to figure out a way to edit this story so that it’s a) solid, b) comprehensible, and c) retaining the original ideas I set forth. It’s going to take some time. As you’ve heard me say numerous times here already.
And of course, while printing all this out, running it through the hole-puncher, and putting it into a big three-ring binder, my mind starts wandering…
WRITER BRAIN: Hmm. Does it really need to be a trilogy?
EDITOR BRAIN: STOP. Stop. Right. There.
WRITER BRAIN: What?
EDITOR BRAIN: I know what you’re thinking. You want to keep what you’ve got and divvy it up into two parts.
WRITER BRAIN: What’s wrong with that? Writers do it all the time.
EDITOR BRAIN: You don’t want to go that route. You’ll have even more chaff than you already–
WRITER BRAIN: Look. A. said that she liked Book 1, but felt it was too long. I distinctly remember she said it could have been two books.
EDITOR BRAIN: That doesn’t–
WRITER BRAIN: Okay, maybe that one doesn’t need to be divvied up (or maybe it does, but I won’t go into that right now), but you know I’m already going to be going through Book 3 for the thousandth time to see where I can cut things.
EDITOR BRAIN: Good.
WRITER BRAIN: And you know we’ve always had issues with the beginning. Even when I was writing the damn thing it felt wrong. There’s no beginning to it. It just….there’s no build-up to Act I at all. It just starts about a third of the way into Act I.
EDITOR BRAIN: …I’ll give you that. But–
WRITER BRAIN: Which means we have two ways we can go about this. We can either look at what we’ve got, do some shuffling and revising, maybe a bit more writing. Yes? I guarantee we’ll have even more pages than we started with.
EDITOR BRAIN: But–
WRITER BRAIN: You said it yourself. You don’t want to follow the preordained rules with the project. You want to do it how you want to do it. How it makes sense to you.
EDITOR BRAIN: …
WRITER BRAIN: Am I right?
EDITOR BRAIN: …yes, you’re right.
WRITER BRAIN: So why close up an avenue that might actually help the story? Who knows? Maybe cutting The Balance of Light into two books makes more sense, as it gives us more breathing room to sufficiently cover every plot point that needs covering.
EDITOR BRAIN: …
WRITER BRAIN: Face it, EB. You know I’m right. Why does it have to be a trilogy? I mean, yes, I know the psychology behind it. Weird as it is. But there are just some stories that make more sense when they’re not constrained by a rigid format.
EDITOR BRAIN: It’ll all end in tears, you know.
WRITER BRAIN: Yes, I know. But you never know until you try.
So yeah…that happened. This writing gig can get a bit…weird, sometimes.