This weekend I edited 7 more chapters with the changes to my main character being a PI instead of a cop. I’m not at chapter 24. The same spot in the first version has me at chapter 35. So I’m cutting quite a bit. With the change to PI, I need a new premise as to why she’s working the case she is. I came up with an idea, wrote a new first chapter to introduce it and her client, then realized it wouldn’t work for various reasons (one of which is it’s been done before, in one of my favorite movies, but I didn’t connect it until later. What movie is that? The Ninth Gate.) So, even though it was completely unintentional, I don’t want to use that. So I need to think of something else. The first several chapters are going to need a lot of work, and a lot of pondering and figuring out the best way to deal with this change.
As I go along, I’m making notes on things that need just a little bit more work. Sometimes you have to walk away from a chapter and give it some space so you can figure out where it really needs to go. I have a few chapters like this I’ll need to go back to sooner or later (probably sooner.) I also have some more research I need to do to flesh out the mystery part of the story.
The interesting thing about this change is, I had signed up for an online workshop about making cop characters realistic. I was excited about it, and 2 days before it started is when I realized I needed to make this change. Funny how things work sometimes. That’s ok though, because I’m still learning a lot of interesting stuff in the workshop that I’m sure I’ll use somewhere down the road. And there will be a workshop in July about PI procedures, which I’m sure will be equally as awesome. I only wish it was sooner.
Tonight I’m going to sit down with my favorite pen and Moleskine and freewrite about what I need to do with the plot and mystery. Sometimes that is the best way for me to figure things out – good old fashioned pen and paper. Hopefully I’ll have some good progress to share with you next Wednesday.