Updated: Aug 12, 2020
I'm in displacement activity mode today.
Because this morning I woke up to find my pesky brain had been rethinking one of my works in progress. More on that later. Now, in true butterfly style, I'm going to veer off the topic and tell you how things are going with the latest works. So far - all good news. 'Love Is' is with my editor. 'Runaway' (the first of my free books) is with my beta reader. Everything on schedule. Nice. Look out for further news on both in the next few weeks.
Now back to displacement activity, but first let me explain something. I am what is known in the writing business as a pantser. That's a non-planning author. One who gets an idea and off she/he goes... into the wild blue yonder of re-writes and revisions in abundance. The extreme opposite of me is a plotter - a writer who plans their story, sometimes in great detail, before they sit down to write it. Most writers, I firmly believe are a mix. It's a spectrum. Now, where have I heard that before? I'm digressing again. So time to get back to the opening. Why am I in displacement activity mode this sunny Cornish morning? Because my brain (did I mention it is pesky?) woke me at seven a.m. with a thought about the hero in 'A Girl Like Her'. A new consequence of his actions in Chapter 2. Do I hear you asking, isn't that great? Your brain has been writing the book for you while you were sleeping. What's to complain about? Well, no... it's not great.
The new consequence is logical and right. It's character-driven and realistic. I should use the idea. It will increase the conflict and make what the hero really, really wants even more unattainable. It's a real screw turner. It would happen just when readers might be thinking all was going to be fine with the main characters. It's a bombshell. (Did I mention this is a romance, not a horror story?) So what's bad about it? Nothing, absolutely nothing except that I am probably going to have to bin sixty thousand words and start again. Hence the displacement behaviour. I am doing anything rather than start a new version of A Girl - revision date 11-08-2020. I might even go and do some ironing! No, that is a step too far. But seriously, will I do the re-write?
Absolutely! Because I want my David Nicholls moment.... there is a point in his fabulous book 'One Day' when it looks like the hero and heroine are going to be okay... after years of not quite making it, things are looking hopeful. I sat up reading until three in the morning to reach that point... I can hardly breathe, I'm waiting, this must be the happy moment. They are going to be okay. They are meant to be together - it must happen. Then - a twist... a character-driven consequence and I cried out, NO! So, of course, I am going to re-write 'A Girl'... so that someone, someday at three in the morning will also cry out: "NO!"