For the last year or so (oh, heck -- thirteen months to be exact), I've been involved in the complete renovation of our home. Every room we tackle ends up giving us unexpected and pretty much unwelcome surprises -- more work to be done, hidden problems beneath the walls and floors. There have been times when we've been tempted to just give in and give up, go for the huge mortgage and build from the ground up.
The last day or so, I've been looking at my planned revisions on HOTM with the same eye. It's the book of my heart, and the characters have been with me forever, it seems. I believe it has potential, and I've spent the last month or so identifying the structural problems with it.
The problem is that every time I sit down with a hard copy and try framing it (my preferred method of revision with a completed manuscript), I can't do it. It's too much; I get frustrated and put it aside. Instead, I started outlining revision notes within my much beloved Carribbean-blue notebook, where I also keep my budget notes, promotion notes, and renovation ideas. That's helped me stay focused by streamlining what needs to be done.
And it pointed out one very scary reality: I'm going to have to build HOTM from the ground up. Again.
That means instead of working within the original manuscript, I'm writing a new book. Starting with a blank document, old ideas blended with new ones. It's the only way to make this monster work. For the most part, I have to pretend the 411 pages that I've already written about Tick and Cait don't exist, and you know, they really don't -- with the new backstory line I'm looking at, Tick and Cait have both changed. They're different people. Hopefully stronger people. Their story will be different.
Only the ending, that shimmering promise of an HEA, will remain the same.
I guess I need to go lay a foundation.