I re-read an older post from about 2 1/2 months ago where I had 71,000 words. Because my nature is to analyze (driving my husband crazy) I calculated this is only 280 words a day – if writing every day. Which I don’t. But almost. There are days when family stuff is happening, or you know, I have to clean, cook, do laundry, run errands.
Either way. there is progress. It’s slow and steady. And…, I can live with that.
Years ago when we first purchased this house, I had an idea for the kitchen. As you can see, the house is old:
We figured it was built around 1906. The kitchen hadn’t seen any modifications since the 70’s, and that avocado green just didn’t do it for me. But…, we needed a new roof. That definitely took precedence. So did updating the paint inside from white walls and this very strange emerald green trim, to warmer earth tones. Then came ripping out and replacing all the porches. And the columns. See those big ones? The bases had collapsed and they were about to drop that small A frame shaped overhang into the front yard. Couldn’t let that happen.
It took a long time to focus on the kitchen. Years in fact. During all this other work, I got a chance to think about what I wanted. That was a good thing. A really good thing. Over the course of those years I went from wanting white or cream colored cabinets to desiring dark wood. From tiled floors to wood. From apple green paint to a warm milky coffee color. From tiled counters to granite. Major, and I mean major changes in taste. If we had put in the kitchen under my original desires, it wouldn’t have suited this house – at all. It would have been too light and airy, too modern looking.
It’s similar to what has happened while writing this book. I’ve taken a lot of time – some of the delay is intentional, and some of it not. It’s working out better this way. For instance, since the beginning of this draft, I’ve had this one thought in mind regarding one of my characters. Some “thing” he’s done and why he did it. And then, about three days ago, it came to me – he shouldn’t be the one who does this. Another character should. It’s a subtle change – but a major correction/shift in the overall scheme of the first character’s intentions. It clarifies the reason for his behavior, makes more sense, and the plot more plausible. What I love even better? Most of what is written about him will still work – despite this shift in direction.
I also realize if I had pushed to get the draft finished, I never would have stumbled into this revelation. An eye opener sort of clarification while writing can be elusive. You’re so busy moving the story forward that sometimes you can forget a small subtle fact that doesn’t make sense. There certainly are no guarantees an epiphany will strike you out of the blue, but taking your time will help to uncover those moments. It can help present a twist or turn you never saw. And, when it does? It’s like performing a magic trick you didn’t know you could do.
When have you unexpectedly pulled a rabbit out of the hat?