Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Taking Advice Albeit Late

As I forge through the rewrite of Blink, I thought I'd take a break and thank those people who told me the beginning needed to start from somewhere else. Of course, that was over a year ago, and I wasn't in a place where I could SEE how right they were.

And how wrong I was to not see it.

It may take me a while, but I can admit when I'm wrong. The problem here is I was too close to Blink to see it. I loved the beginning. It said all the things I wanted to say and got the book moving. Or so I thought.

You see, I was so entrenched in making that beginning work, I couldn't see how badly it wasn't working. Hell, even after I knew it wasn't working, I had a devil of a time rewriting it. As I said before, the old words kept getting in the way of making a new start. I understand... They didn't want to die. But they had to, if the book was going to survive.

Now that they're gone, the story is so much better. A new start made a world of difference. I'm just sorry it took me a year to learn that lesson. And I'm sorry I didn't listen when people told me that truth whether I wanted to hear it at the time or not.

Don't get me wrong. I'm open to advice and suggestions - unless they seem like they're totally out of step with where I want my story to be. In this instance, that was the case, and I was wrong.

I didn't take 100% of the advice, of course. (It's the rebel in me, I guess. heh.) Back then, the idea was put forth to start the book at X point instead of Y. Instead, I threw out Y and created a totally new beginning to lead to X.

Starting at X would be too weird, IMO. And yes, I did try it. It really didn't work. Or at least it I couldn't find a way to write it so it would work. (Still can't. Starting at X seems too jarring - like throwing the reader in at a place where nothing makes sense. If that makes any sense.)

Anyway, the new beginning is finished, and I'm almost done weaving the new ideas into the original story. In deleting the old beginning, I had to snip a couple very minor characters, and now I have to get rid of the only other place they reappear. Plus, in the new beginning, I added some information that has to be worked in to later chapters. So far, it's all weaving together wonderfully well.

So, to those crit'ters who offered advice last year, thank you. I apologize for having my head up where it doesn't belong and not taking your words to heart.

Have you ever not taken someone's advice only to find out later they were right all along?


Travis Erwin said...

Yep. Has happened to me numerous times, but sometimes you can only see it after a bit of time. the important thing sis that you do eventually see it.

Kristen Painter said...

I have to say that I judge the value of the advice based on how I feel about the person giving it. If I trust them, admire their writing or their ability to form a sentence, then I'm much more likely to take their advice.