I don't know about you, but one of my least favorite things about writing is when I start to second guess my work. And the dreaded, "But what if..." words come out of my mouth.
"But what if..." changing my character from a boy to a girl will add more drama? Or maybe even a monkey?
"But what if..." changing the location from Southern California to Outer Space would be more interesting? Or even Alaska?
"But what if..." people don't find Balderdash interesting, maybe they should be playing Croquet instead? Battleship...? Pictureka...? Basketball...?
You get the picture.
Unlike real life, in fiction the story can go anyway you want it to and at anytime you can change that path and go in a completely different direction. And for me, personally, that can get sometimes, well, overwhelming. And then the second guessing starts.
Currently, I've spent the last week debating the pros and cons of changing the location of about five-seven chapters in my book. During this debate I've had to take into consideration what not only would be best for the story, but:
- Which way would character motivations be clearer
- What would benefit the plot more
- Would the story flow better in another location
- Which way would introduce the characters strongest
- And which way would set up the book in the reader's mind better
But since I'm still working on the story, I also think when you start to second guess yourself, you're using it as a stall tactic. At least that's what happens to me: because in the last week, all I've done is rewrite scene after scene and my story has not moved forward at all. And some point (which is why I'm writing this blog), I need to suck it up, remember that my first draft always stinks, and decide to move on and readdress this debate after the entire book is written.
Because maybe both ways would work out just as well. The story wouldn't be better or worse. But just different...
--Emily, Miss Querylicious