It occurred to me yesterday that I’m finally beginning to understand that fine line that exists between showing my audience what I mean and telling them what I mean.
I previously thought I learned my show vs. tell lesson after writing Flight, where too much tell resulted in an incomplete character, or rather a disconnect between what was supposed to be a favored character and my audience. As I push through this edit of Damen, however, I see that I have many, many lessons yet to learn in my writing endeavours.
Where Flight told too much, Damen has overcompensated by showing far too much and telling far too little. As I re-read, I find that I can map out the character Damen’s every movement between August 2007 and May 2008. It’s unbelievable!
I’m sure that when I was writing most of this last year, all this detail seemed relevant, but in hindsight, the details just make me want to pull out my hair. That’s not to say that it isn’t interesting to see every facet of a character’s life; it’s the fact that I spent nearly 300K words doing it and now have to rewrite entire chapters as I concede to a word count that’s aggravating.
…thus ends my rant of having to re-write the entirety of Chapter 14 due to my own hubris…
I’m down to 240K words and am finally into the meat of the novel. With that, however, comes to realization that I’ve a lot of re-writing coming to me. The first part of the novel was finely polished and led to my overall goal, but into Chapter 15-16 and beyond, I’m starting to see where I floundered a lot last year, hence the 15K chapters.
I think I may just sit down and just read for the rest of this week, focusing on whether what’s on the page is relevant and have a rough idea of how I’d like to reorder the remainder of the book. Unfortunately, with more than 20 chapters left to edit in this manner, this means that I’ll have to back my final draft goal to May 31 and the agent search to July, but I’d rather have all the proverbial ducks in a row and know I did this right, than rush it and face rejection when I didn’t do my best.