Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More good parts, less good whole

I finished the rewrite of Chapter 4 today. That's about the first time I've met the most ambitious estimate of my timeline. Three days and done. Ready for Chapter 5.

The experience has reinforced what I've already discovered: this stage of the process is all about deepening and complicating the work. I added about 1,000 new words today. (The whole chapter has more than doubled from its original draft.) And as I make it deeper and more complicated, I make it worse in a critical way. What's happening is that I am inventing and developing more good parts but I'm also wrecking the whole. It's becoming less and less cohesive.

It seems like I'm unraveling the unity it has, but really I'm exposing how the unity that was there was a kind of illusion. A dressed up unity that hides how not much is really going on.

That's scary and uncomfortable, but I'm getting better at just riding that wave and living with the necessity of coming back later to figure out what gets cut and how things get tied together.

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