I just butchered Torii, people. And by butchered, I mean drawn and quartered.
I literally just tore it apart. It now resides in three different files. One is labeled story rejects, one is for later use and one is what remains of the story.
Why would I do this?
I'll tell you. I got a much better idea concerning the beginning sequence of the story. What can a writer do at that point? Three things, it seems to me.
One: Ignore your better idea and keep following down the original, not-as-good idea. But I tend to think this road might get more and more narrow and destitute, until it's a mere track through the dense woods and then it's a trail of bread crumbs and then you're just lost in the woods.
Two: Start from scratch, completely. So much work.
Three: Disembowel your story and then repair, restore and move on. Also so much freakin' work, but not so heart breaking as option two.
Sigh. It makes my head hurt, moving around all those chunks of story, which are now just floating free, unanchored and bewildered.
The old beginning sequence was too full of far fetched circumstances. It just bothered me. But sometimes, a person just has to dive in, so I dove in the best way I knew how at the time.
This leaves a crooked trail to straighten later, but if I waited until I had everything figured out, I'd never start. I'd make myself too nervous and I wouldn't know enough about the story yet. Sometimes, I have to write the wrong thing before I can figure out what the right thing is.
I've gotten better at this, the more I write. I hear myself say, "That is crazy. That is overused. That is too emotional. That is wrong. That is unbelievable. That doesn't make sense. That doesn't fit. That's too raw." Etc, etc, etc.
I've learned to just ignore this voice, because I have another voice. Only that voice not so articulate. It's a feeling, a deep seated weight, a vision that I don't know how to get to yet. I just go ahead and write my little heart out. I know I can go back later and straighten it out.
I do have a plot line file for this story, and when I get to certain points, I open it up and hammer out the general idea of what I think might be happening next.
Various things continue to be a mystery to me. Tenshio has his own plot line to follow. How his plot line intersects with the plot of returning Gilly to the mortal world is still uncertain. Do I want them completely interlacing, or one after the other, with an interlude between? I think this will make itself more clear as I go along, especially as I take my characters down into the Kagamihara.
I like my new idea; I think it's much more solid and it fits in and enhances the growing theme and feeling of the story. So, I'm sure it will be worth it, but poor old Torii!- all those pieces of story that are just severed and now will slowly wither and die, never to be read, unneeded, their poetry unheard. They will live on a story ghosts in obsolete computer files, and subjected to my occasional visits, so that I can chop off little pieces of them for use somewhere else, like some sort of story cannibalism.
I have to go vacuum. Darn dog hair.