This Wednesday snuck up on me. I was typing away during my morning writing time when I came to the sudden realization of what today was–Insecure Writer’s Support Group day! Wha? Already?
I failed at my September goals. I didn’t once touch my Book 2 WIP, and my eating habits have been on a rollercoaster of ups, downs, and spinning whirls. But mentally, I’m in a good state right now. I’ve been plugging away at my companion novel, though there’s not a whole lot of word count to show for there. I’m at 17K (was at 9K last month), but I’ve been doing a lot of discarding and rewriting as I go along. You see, I established a light-hearted whimsy tone in the first chapter, which my critique group loved. But after I’d written the inciting incident, it turned dark fast. That brings me to the question of the month:
IWSG Question of the Month – In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?
Typically, I don’t shy away from much. I refuse to harm children in my stories because that parental part of me is all consuming. But other topics or language I might touch upon at some point.
The inciting incident of my companion novel involved assault and it forced me to face a dilemma. I couldn’t, in good conscience, keep that incident and return to the whimsy tone that I knew would be part of the rest of the story. It felt like I was diminishing it and the last thing I want to do is diminish the pain of someone who might face a similar incident. I thought long and hard on it, because it’s been the incident in my mind for years now, but that was where I drew the line. I wouldn’t make light of the assault.
So I tossed out 4K and switched it to her nearly getting eaten by a dragon-sized bird. Still a catalyst for her learning self-defense, but something I felt safe poking fun at.
I’ve since rewritten another 2K any time I lost that whimsy tone, so technically I’ve put over 25K toward this novel. The progress has been good (though not toward the project I really should be working on). But heck, I’ll take it.
How about you? Have you ever rewritten something because you don’t feel comfortable about how you represented it? Do you get distracted by side projects and end up abandoning your goals?