I have been working on this novel with the philosophy of “Don’t Go Back”. Really, I just mean, make notes for the second draft rather than going back and editing stuff that’s already been written in the first draft as I go along. The goal is to get all the way through the rough draft at least once before I go back and start editing things. It is *so* hard for me to do! (Particularly since things that have evolved as the story has progressed make some of the stuff that is already written ALL WRONG.)
Thing is, I can get so caught up in the write, go back and edit, write a little more, go back and edit … that I wind up re-writing the first few chapters way more times than necessary … and get burned out on the story before I ever commit the whole thing to the page. SO … Don’t Go Back.
However, I have decided that I need to change where the book begins. I am not changing, editing, or deleting anything that has already been written, I just think that there needs to be another chapter before the one that is presently the beginning. So, the question is, if I write that chapter now, does that count as going back? I decided that I need the chapter as I was working out the contents of the next chapter I am due to work on according to my outline. Instead of that chapter, I started composing this groundwork chapter in my head, and realized that it should really be the beginning of the book.
I am going to go ahead and write it going on the second premise I’ve been using which is basically, “Write Something.” There have been a few times when I just simply haven’t been in the right head space to write the thing that is supposed to be coming next. There have also been a few times when I have just had these … vignettes … pop into my head that had no actual place in the story but were things that I couldn’t shake loose. Hence, 7200 words of back-story with no specific place in the manuscript (yet). It has worked out alright so far, and several of those vignettes have later found their place in the actual flow of the story.
It isn’t really going back because I am producing something new, right? Not editing or reworking or getting side-tracked …
I hope. Also, I feel like I *need* to write this. It has it’s emotional source in the terrible nightmare that woke me up this weekend. Clearly my muse has something She wants me to say.