I’ve been up to my eye balls and over my eye brows into my manuscript Tears from the Sea (TFTS) and things had been progressing quite nicely in my literary journey—that is until yesterday.
To go back to a MS that has sat for a decade is an interesting prospect. Time has allowed me to come back to it with a new lens which I feel is less attached and perhaps, a bit more critical. I believe I’ve made some improvements by way of strengthening my heroine’s voice—as well as creating dialogue with a more natural flow. This week I was hit with my first big hurdle, I've got a chapter where I believe the copy needs to be tightened.
My heroine Kawi is a sea gypsy from Myanmar and her family has just been eaten by the big wave. She’s grief stricken and alone on a tiny deserted island in the archipelago but she’s a survivor and has embarked upon constructing a temporary shelter. Well, I read the chapter, and can I just say…I have painstakingly provided a step-by-step description of her building her new home (this must have taken me at least a week to write). Seriously, from foraging for leaves, branches and vines, building walls, a roof to weaving baskets and a sleeping mat. I had to stop myself from highlighting and deleting the entire section.
I wisely slept on it and came back to the shelter construction chapter the next day and once again my finger was heading towards that delete button. With such a strong reaction to this section suffice it to say this whole construction project may be a bit of over kill. This brings me to my dilemma…how do I tighten the copy without minimizing the ordeal it is for Kawi to survive? Because it is a VERY big deal for a 13-year-old to keep it together under these circumstances.
As of this moment, besides wanting to delete it, I don’t have an answer. And, that’s OK. When I first began writing in a situation like this, I would have banged my head on my desk for days trying to force it to come together. In my new wisdom, I'm opting to step away from this section and tackle the next chapter. This way, I can still be productive and when I revisit this joyous section if I’m still battling with it, I’ll ask for some help. Ahhh, this wisdom that comes with maturity is great.
OK…I know the picture below has nothing to do with this post but I’m trying to muster up a little holiday spirit. Last week, I was oozing in it—this week…not so much. I may be having some challenging writing about building a shelter but with 11 days to go I’ve got lot's of time to build some festive spirit.
Activist, World traveller. Fan of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.