Same Scene, New Idea

The first time I came up with the concept for Dragon was in 2003.  Designing two of the characters and creating their story helped me fall asleep in my apartment when I first lived by myself, and fleshing out the world they inhabited gave my brain something to do while volunteering at the library.  It never made it into a complete novel, but I did take the time to write several of the scenes and do a rough sketch of the main characters and the plot.

Within the last year I returned to the concept and wrote a couple of new scenes.  As I considered the story, I decided that I needed to take a different angle.  I pulled out a lot of my old pieces and notes and knew that most of them would have to be totally rewritten.  It wasn’t a big deal; I anticipated that, since I was taking a new approach to the story.  I worked on a few scenes out-of-order, revised the stuff I had written recently, and finally got a prologue and first several chapters written.

Then Serial Central happened, and a shifted my focus back to Butterflies.  Dragon got heavily outlined and shelved so I could work on Burden of Knowledge, With Honor, and (theoretically) Butterflies 2. 

Lately I’ve been drawn back to Dragon, so when I woke up yesterday with scenes from that story in my mind, I pulled it out again.  I read through the prologue and first chapters and I like them very much as-is.  My dilemma now is with the scenes that I wrote out-of-order.  I can see them in my mind; the basic action has not changed.  The details of the scene, however, need to be revised.  This is the decision that I am forced to make: start over totally and get the scene down as I see it now, or use what I have and do a heavy rewrite.  I hate to discard the work that has already been done, but a part of me argues that continuity of story and consistency of writing will be greater if I simply start from scratch.  I’ve also had the experience of the scene as-written overriding the scene as I see it now while reading, which makes the revisions that much harder.

I’ll probably end up starting over, even though it means tossing out the previous work.


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