Whereas many writers hate to revise, Khaled Hosseini, the author of the bestseller The Kite Runner, talks interestingly about his love for revision. “It’s kind of like moving into a house. For me the first draft is all about carrying all the furniture, and the bed, and the armoire, and the cabinets, and all the mattresses, and shoving it in the house, you know, everything that you have, all these belongings—and it’s just hard, laborious work. But the revising process is like, OK, now you’ve got all the stuff that you need in here, pretty much—you’re going to throw some of it away—but now it’s a matter of arranging things in such a way that makes it feel like a home, that makes sense and is pleasing. … That’s sort of the way I work through it.” (WD, July 2013)
Well, come to think of it, that’s how I worked on my novel Without Thinking Twice. I had all the stuff—hundreds of scenes, narrated by four characters—that I had to go through, while tossing a lot of them out and letting the ones that fit stay. It was incredibly hard to part with certain scenes that I loved, but, for better or for worse, I did it. And it was downright painful to arrange all the scenes of two stories (of two married couples) as separate plots and coordinate them in relation to one another as well. But I did it.
This time around it’ll be easier because there are only two narrators, and the events taking place are pretty much linear, with some flashbacks, of course. Plus, everything happens within just ten days. Easy! 🙂
So now I’m accumulating scenes, just writing whatever comes to my mind on the topic, in a sort of stream of consciousness style. One scene a day—that’s my motto now. I did one today. It’s nowhere near “good” but it’ll do, for now. I may toss it out later anyway.