a slippery opponent

I’ve been contemplating the re-write of one of my stories for six months. I’m only now figuring out a way to sweet-talk it.

The first draft was written quickly and features of a cast of characters that I like, as well as an interesting core problem. It’s linear and weak on plot, however.

The re-write has taken so long because there is an important philosophical point that I wish to examine. It’s difficult for me to deal with it lightly. At this point I suspect that little of the original story will remain once I begin restructuring.

Perhaps I needed to get to the point where I was willing to throw out a lot of the story, and whittle down the premise and characters to their basics, before I could move forward. What interests me most about the story is the premise. So, everything needs to lend itself towards serving that interest, while remaining entertaining. I would love to retain its original breezy style.

It’s been frustrating to let this one sit, partly because I was confident I could wrestle it to the floor in early autumn. Instead, it possessed the moves of an Aikido master and effortlessly sidestepped my attacks.

At some point I realised “not yet”, and moved on (“I’ll get you, my pretty,” I thought. I dislike being defeated by my own imagination.) Yet, some stories require time to mature.

It’s not easy for me to play the waiting game. Part of me thinks that everything of my envisioning can be tackled if only I work hard enough at it. To step back, and admit “not yet,” seems like a cop-out. The only way I can avoid feeling like a failure is to work on another project, and finish it, while the elusive story bubbles on the back burner.

Maybe this time I’ll come up with the correct series of manoeuvres.

I don’t want to land on that mat again. The ego bruises despite the padding.

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