I have been in state a perpetual stillness when it comes to me writing anything. I imagine myself in a floating one dimensional glass sailing through time and space like Zod. It is possible to jump the shark before anything is published?
This started a few days before July 4th when I was feverishly writing a chapter in the novel. I was at point where I had to make a decision about the main character that might change the tone of the book. So I made a decision to go with something that I now regret and while I can simply hit the backspace button and rewrite this, it has made me think about the whole thing.
The story is very character driven. It is a first person perspective about crazy shit that people do and the dumb decisions that they make. However, through all of this, what makes stories like these work is how believable they can be. Much of that has to do with the human experience. What are we capable of? How fucked up can we be to each other? That is the basis of life experiences.
Then there is the ultimate goal which is to further the story along. You know when you are watching a blu-ray or dvd and you’re looking at the deleted scenes? Well those scenes tell a version of a story or they are just details of things that are really not that important. This is something like but the impact would be felt somewhere down the line. The purpose of that whole chapter was to explain a back story of a minor character but then things got out of hand and fiction became a little unreal.
I knew the moment I wrote it that it did not feel right, but I went along with it anyway and thus now I have been stuck for a week at almost 64k words. This is where retconning comes in to play. For those not familiar with the term retcon, it is more of a comic book term that stands for retroactive continuity. This happens in comics when writers hit a reset button in order to make their comic book universe more current or when they simply want to fix a mistake.
An example of this is when DC Comics decided to make this event in 1985 called Crisis on Infinite Earths. This was a massive retconning of an entire universe which effects lasted for a decade or so until the decided to fix other mistakes they made every few years that ultimately let to Final Crisis in 2008. Of course one would think that it would be over until Flashpoint came out in 2011 that leads us to where DC is not with the New 52.
I know this sounds confusing and that is my point. I don’t want to get to a point where I’m retconning this novel every time I make a mistake. That will only make me feel like Peter Parker when he revealed to the world he was Spider-Man only to make a deal with the devil later which made the world forget that fact (Yes, I am beating a dead horse here).
The only thing I can do right now is try to go back to that chapter and deconstruct it. If that doesn’t work then I will ultimately have to rewrite it. The problem with that is that I had an unwritten rule that I adopted from someone which basically states that you never go back to edit your work until it is time to edit. Which means that I just keep writing until I am done then go back and fix typos and expand on storylines I may have missed. All this is apart of writing a first draft.
Sigh. A draft. That is my saving grace. Who knows if what I have in mind now wont change by the time I actually go back to page one and it. I guess that means I may have another Crisis on my hands.