Yesterday, when I sat down to write, my total wordcount was 15,085. When I stood up again, having written 1,092 words in the interim, my total wordcount was 15,085.
This has, with minor fluctuations in those last two digits, been my wordcount for the last five days. You see, the plan was this: I would write roughly 500 words a day throughout April, for an ending count of 15K, and then when May began I would kick it up to my regular pace of 1K.
But on May 1st, heading off to a friend’s concert, I finally had to face facts: I’d written the wrong beginning for Eliza. I was sitting there wondering what kind of plot complications I could think up to delay the event I wanted to end Part One with until the end of Part One, given that at present there was nothing stopping it from happening two scenes later, and nothing interesting to fill the intervening time with . . . and then it occurred to me that her immediate backstory had a number of complications that I’d just sort of skated over as a fait accompli. In part because one of those complications was something I didn’t have a detailed solution to, and it’s easier to get away with a non-detailed solution if you don’t show it onstage — but that was a pretty weak justification.
I had plot for Eliza. I’d just started her portion of the narrative after half of it was already done.
Now, the good news is that at least some of what I’ve already written for her might be salvageable. (I’ve already re-used one scene.) The rest will need heavy revision, since those scenes are full of the kind of establishing work that one puts into opening scenes, and that’s no longer needed; what’s left will probably be shorter, so I’ve still lost wordcount. And god knows it’s been frustrating to write a thousand words every day, then delete the obsolete scene and find I’m still at 15K.
But not nearly as frustrating as having to invent plot for Eliza because I skipped over the stuff I already had. So I cut the old scenes, and I write new ones, and the numbers look like I’m treading water — but they’ll start moving forward soon enough.