Last night I had my first ever Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of an American friend and it was lovely. I especially enjoyed going around the table, letting everyone say what they were thankful for because it made me realise I had a whole bucket load to be grateful for. This year has been extremely kind to me. I wafted away from dinner with all the good feels last night, invigorated and happy. This morning I woke up determined to use that turkey-induced vitality in my WIP. Today was the day. I was going to finish my WIP, and I did… almost…
Two scenes, that’s all that was left when I sat down at my keyboard this morning armed with Kellogg’s and coffee. Two hours later, those scenes were done and I felt a lot like this:
Sure, there were consistency issues like how my MC’s eyes randomly change colour and which side of the face my MC has his badass scar, little things. And there are a couple of comments I need to go back and incorporate into the narrative – also minor tweaks. I was feeling incredibly proud of myself that at 68, 100 words, I could call this first draft done, finished, complete!
Then I did what I always do. I started reading from chapter 1. Not bad. Actually, I almost kind of like where this is going and onto the next chapter and…. whoa, what!?
An empty chapter. A chapter I completely forgot about. I never NEVER write out of chronological order because I like getting to the end and knowing it’s the end and being able to write The End dammit! But this time, I skipped around a bit. I added a couple of scenes from one POV in the beginning, which meant re-structuring some chapters. And then I guess I jumped around some more because I had completely neglected this glaringly empty chapter. No, not empty. Beneath the POV name, I’ve very charmingly got this:
Thank you extremely helpful past self for pointing out the obvious and not being even remotely competent enough to add a comment or two about what stuff you thought should happen here because now that I’m done, I cannot think of anything that needs to go into that chapter.
So from elation to frustration in the two seconds it took for me to release that my WIP is in fact not done, not until I have that empty chapter full of awesome plot and heart-wrenching character development.
Coasting along those Thanksgiving waves of gratefulness, I am extremely thankful for the other thirty-four full and complete chapters. I’m not going to let one forgotten chapter get me down. No, I’m now going to step away from the keyboard and think about anything except how I should’ve known better than to skip ahead when I’m mostly still a pantser, and hope that divine inspiration will strike in the least practical location, like while I’m showering, or about to get on the bus, or in the moment before I fall into a deep and forgetful sleep.
What do you have to be thankful for today?