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Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Visionary (#atozchallenge)

Welcome to today's post on the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. My challenge, as I have chosen to accept it, is thus: I have asked on my Facebook and Twitter accounts for people to contribute random words beginning with today's letter. From Random.org, I have selected one of these words, and will below challenge myself to connect said word to writing.

For the letter V, I received 54 suggestions. Random.org selected number 9: visionary.


Visionary

When I first started writing again, I had a vision. No, literally, a vision. Well, okay, it wasn't one of those show-my-destiny-through-mental-images vision, but it was a message my brain wanted to tell me. A repeated scene in my head over and over. My psyche whispering to me in my dreams. Too bad my psyche really wanted to scare the pants off of me... and succeeded, to be sure.

But this vision turned into something. It's the climax in my first (hefty) manuscript, something that no one will ever see but me, one supportive friend, and my super-supportive sister-in-law. But that's not the point.

The point is that we're all visionaries in our own worlds. We create from nothing but the synapses in that gray matter under our skull and some personal experiences. We have visions.

Yeah, yeah, are you bored with my "we're the awesomest" speech yet?

I bring this up because sometimes the original vision isn't the best. My writing instructor once told us that revision and re-vision aren't the same thing, and I believe her. I've seen it in action. Sometimes moving scenes around and editing the syntax aren't enough to provide the best story within us. Sometimes you have to delete a third of a novel and rewrite it, re-visioning how it should play out. Sometimes you have to rethink a character's actions. If, upon further inspection, that character wouldn't do that huge action that creates the tension for the rest of the novel, then something needs to be re-visioned.

I'm currently rewriting the first, oh, third (the number above was either arbitrary or subconsciously apt) of my novel Fighting Fate. The original was poor. The tension lagged. People did some stuff, but, eh, people do stuff all the time. This time around, though, I'm rethinking everything, including the backstory, to get them where they need to go. And, if I do say so myself (*dusting off shoulders*), it's not too bad.

Ever had to re-vision your work? How far are you willing to go to rewrite your fiction/poetry? Are you willing to scrap everything but your basic characters and start over? How much re-visioning is too much?

7 comments:

Al said...

The beta reader of my book liked the bulk of it but suggested it would work better if I scrapped some characters and a whole section.
After some grumbling I agreed. It seemed disloyal to abandon characters.

Laura Josephsen said...

Ohh, yes, I've to do re-visioning before. I know I'll have to do it again. In fact, I have a manuscript that's been sitting on my computer for about half a year and it needs to be almost entirely rewritten. Sometimes you have to write something to figure out that it doesn't work.

Reece said...

I had to rework one of the MCs in my one completed manuscript. When I started out, I wanted to make it sort of a coming-of-age story, but I realized later on that he would have had to grow up very early to survive in the environment of the story. So it eventually became a story of redemption, and I think it works much better.

damyantiwrites said...

For me, revisions are always all about re-visioning. I start from scratch. Again.

Cheeseboy said...

I revision all the time. Sometimes my revisions are of revisions and are nothing like my original vision.

Marjorie said...

In my poetry I constantly delete lines. I'm kind of a perfectionist. I have to make myself stop revisions and re-visions.

Jules said...

I usually end up doing more revisiting than revising. Start with a vision, leads to another vision, another vision, etc... then I do a lot of revisiting :) My version of the writing circle.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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