Well spring is here and as I sit at my kitchen window and look out, the pear tree is alive with green, green leaves and tiny but beautiful sprigs of white flowers. Sure, half of it is still missing but I can see a little tiny branch making it's way out. The tree has survived and it's here to stay.
Like the tree, my current manuscript has suffered some damage. A rejection, the tearing apart of chapters, the deletion of characters and most importantly I (oh God, deep breath) have decided to chop off the entire last half. Yeah, I'm doing it. Because it needs to be done. The third and fourth acts are like those dead limbs - covered in ice, black and deadened - and they need to be removed, put out to the curb for the city to come and pick up. It hurt to do it - to literally highlight 200 pages and hit delete - but wow do I feel good about it. It's like getting a really good haircut and your head just feels so much lighter. The first half of my book was so good, I am so proud of it. When I looked at the second half, the spirit of the book had dimmed. My characters didn't seem like the same people and my voice was just off. But I've fixed that. Now I am going to go back into those first two acts, widen them out, add scenes, people, places and make the book into what I originally envisioned. Make it LIVE.
I feel good.
Sometimes we need to sit back, identify the dead branches and cut them down. Sure, we're left with half a tree, but that's half a tree ready to grow.