Starting Over

On Wednesday, I started over. I opened a blank Scrivener file and started at the beginning.

I’d spent too long trying to figure out a way back into this project, and the mess of it had become overwhelming. It was full of false starts, experimentations that went nowhere, rambling non-scenes, characters that needed to be cut. So instead of trying to wade through the morass, I started over.

And yet it does not feel like starting from scratch. I needed to write those tens of thousands of words to learn my narrator’s backstory, to discover why she is telling this story in the first place. To see that my impulse to use all of these different forms — the screenplay, the blog, the autobiography, the found diary — was a sign that I didn’t understand the story yet.

I imagine some of that material will make its way back into the novel — all of it still lives inside me somewhere. But for now, onto the compost heap it goes.

How do I feel? Relieved. Powerful. Excited. A little nervous.

Would I recommend writing a novel this way? Probably not.

Have I found any other way to write one? Nope.

o n w a r d . . .