Friday, July 27, 2012
Suspension of Disbelief When Revising A Novel
Here’s the thing, when you’re sewing, when the dress has pieces sewn on wrong (such as the sleeves are inside out, and the neck facing is on backwards and you forgot one of the darts in the front), what you’ve got still looks more like a dress than it does after you rip the pieces apart and start planning the reconstruction.
Even though, by taking the never-gonna-be-a-dress, inside-out-sleeves garment apart, you have, in fact, moved one step closer to finishing the dress of your dreams.
And this, ladies and gents, is where I am with my revision. I have written some new chapters that I love and eliminated some parts that don’t work, but in order to integrate the new and fix the transitions where the old used to be, I had to do the equivalent of a whole hell of a lot of seam ripping.
And this is the part where suspension of disbelief comes in. Or some metaphorical variant thereof. As in, belieeeeeeeeeve or Tinkerbell falls from the sky and dies, writhing, on your keyboard.
That would be my keyboard.
(It wouldn’t be a mixed metaphor if I introduced The Little Engine That Could here, right, as long as Tinkerbell was passed out in one of the boxcars?)
You have to believe that this thing with the many improved moving parts can, in fact, be put together again in a new, improved version. That new seams can bind together all the old and new and radically overhauled parts, and that the sum of those parts will be, well, seamless. And also a book.