Whoo-boy, what a rush.
For anyone who hasn't worked with me on a beta, I tend to--act, perhaps, as if someone is chopping off my fingers to remove a word, much less a section, or you know, three quarters of the fourth part of the story. Even if I know, intellectually, it's for the story's own good. Hell, the entire main *plotline* of that particular story is now tucked away in an abandoned document, never to be seen again, unless i need to cannibalize a bit for a few key scenes that translate over.
I do not *do* this. I just--once I write it, it's *there* for me, and I can't erase and pretend like it's not there. And now it's not, and I'm kind of feeling--well, loss, I suppose.
In case anyone is curious, I'v been agonizing over this particular section pages since *November*.
I--it's not insecurity on the storyline that's getting to me. That's normal. It's that when I started, I didn't know what I was writing. It's the question that cjandre kept asking me over and over and *over* until it finally sank in that I had not only no idea, but didn't seem inspired to *get* one. Writing just to see words only gets you so far. I kept thinking I'd *stumble* over it eventually, which I sort of did, but wouldn't it have been nice if it happened *before* I wrote this far?
I had this long conversation with a friend about the process for me, and how it's changed but stayed essentially the same. I know plotline, begininning, and sometimes how I think it will end from the start--though the ending always changes. But the story--what it's actually *about*--I don't get until I'm usually halfway or three quarters through. Somewhere was supposed to be Lex redemptionistic, but it ended up not really about that so much as about Clark's transition from being a superhero to being--well, a superhero, just an entirely different kind. It *surprised* me, but since I was posting daily, I didn't have time to panic and rewrite, just had to go with it, a very good thing as far as the story is concerned. The Yard's started doing it already, and it was supposed to be more of a Lex story, but it's very co-character now.
It's almost like a change in the middle of a paragraph for me--it hits me when one piece of dialogue falls into place, one action is taken, *this* is what I was actually going for, even if I didn't know it, even if I wanted something different. And going back to the beginning and reading, I can see the pattern early on in it going this way, and it's--does that sound some kind of really weird psychotic break? I keep wanting to examine it a little, and then I wonder if examining it will take away the essential surprise and high I get when it all fits together, more or less. The one time I really remember it hitting me was figuring out Peter's wife was dead as I wrote Lex saying it in Common Spaces, which was about geez, ten pages or so from the end. Suddenly, it made *sense*, the entire idiotic story that had been driving me up the wall because while I was just as content writing cross-comic porn, I wanted it to at least pretend to have a plotline outside orgasms. Not that orgasms aren't a spectacular plotline in themselves. I still had to go back and clarify to make sure, but the pieces were there early on, and finally, I could see what to do to make them all thread together. Once she was dead, the parallels were so obvious I wondered if I'd been channeling the spirit of the Anvil at some point.
So. Twenty-seven dead pages. I feel kind of like I lost some toes. Must mull. I get a cookie, for being brave.