When I started my live writing project at: http://alinaadamsmedia.com/live/ my goal was to demonstrate exactly how a book comes together by exposing all the first (and second and third) draft typos, deletions, clunky prose and inevitable plot dead ends.
Well, a month into the project, we've hit our first plot dead-end. As often happens, my book has gotten away from me, with characters doing things I didn't want and heading off in directions I don't like.
The first issue is a couple of minor characters have taken over. I realized when I woke up in the morning dreading writing scenes with Lauren's new boyfriend, Steven, and that, when it came to re-reading, I was skipping over them, that if they were boring me, they had to be boring the reader. And not only is he boring, but he is pulling focus from the main couple. Clearly, Steven Erikson is in for a major overhaul (or possibly a complete deletion - still mulling over that one).
But, the biggest problem is the relationship between Lauren and her childhood friend, Seth. Somehow, the story has turned into a girl in love with a guy who doesn't see her as anything more than, at best, a kid sister. And that's not what I initially intended at all.
(Not that I am comparing myself to Tolstoy in any way - except that my first language is also Russian - but he once said that he pleaded with Anna Karenina not to throw herself under that train, and yet she did it anyway. I don't know what kind of parent Tolstoy was, but I'm the kind who has no problem making her kids do things they don't want to do. And if I'm like that with my kids, I can certainly be like that with my characters. So Tolstoy can let Anna dictate story. I have no intention of doing so. Spoiled brat characters are almost as bad as spoiled brat children.)
I am currently eight chapters into the book. Some scenes, I think work quite well - at least for a first draft. Others do not. So, painful though it may be, come Monday, I am going in and deleting about half of what I've already written, so I can start again from scratch. All the Steven stuff is going to go, and I'll be doing some serious re-writing of several key Lauren/Seth interactions. And I'll be blogging about why I made the changes to better serve the story.
So, if you haven't yet, pop on over to: http://alinaadamsmedia.com/live/ and check out what I have there so far, then come back Monday for the slash and burn and rewrite - and make sure to tell me what you think!