When I started this rewrite, I wanted to really shake things up and take it beyond just putting on a new coat of paint and rearranging the furniture.
This had to be really different from what it already was. Major changes require major brainstorming and planning.
The starting point was breaking down the previous outline on a scene-by-scene basis. What worked? What didn’t?
One subplot has already been cut because it just didn’t mesh with the rest of it. A more suitable replacement has been developed, and not only does it still work for the story, it opened up more possibilities.
Each scene is still evaluated to determine how it advances the story as well as how it fits in to the plot. Yes, some darlings must be killed as work progresses, but if they don’t serve a purpose that supports the overall story, then they weren’t needed in the first place. Maybe they can be reconfigured and used another way.
Working through all of this reminded me of a significant bonus to writing on a regular basis – your creativeness gets a constant workout, which has made it slightly easier than expected to come up with ideas of how to make a scene stronger or at least more effective.
And since this is a mystery, it’s extremely important that all the intricate details are in place. Clues and red herrings are in the process of being planted, a key factor of which is making sure their place in the puzzle is organic, and not shoehorned in.
Taking a steady, methodical approach to this has made it not as imposing as originally expected.
When I started this rewrite, I had the standard fear/concern that I wouldn’t be able to figure things out and come up with solutions.
Now, not so much.