I need a WiP Whip.
Hard to believe that a month ago I was complaining about being stuck in the middle of my WiP. I had a beginning. I had a middle. In fact, at 75K words in, I was past the middle. I should have been wrapping it up, bringing things to a thrilling close. But I was stuck.
Barton's Women has gotten out of control. In a coda to my Random Act of Kindness post, I relayed how an e-mail exchange with Donna K. Weaver helped get me out of the middle. I cranked out the verbiage and wrote the ending of the story.
And now it's totally out of control. In the month since I wrote that first post about being stuck, Barton's Women has grown. It has currently reached--I kid you not--116,000 words. That's way too long.
What happens is after I get the bones of the story down I go into backfill mode. I still see scenes in my head, hear bits of dialogue, create new subplots. It's a fun part of writing for me, because the pressure is off. When I'm doing the real first draft of the story I have no idea where or how it's going to end, so there's always a certain degree of pressure I feel to get to that point. To have a point. Once I hit the end, that pressure is relieved to a huge degree. The story has a beginning and an end and most of a middle; these bits just help make it...more. These scenes provide depth to characters, tension, and help to drive the story toward the conclusion I've already written (and sometimes they help change what comes later, too). But 116,000 words?
The good news is that the 'backfill' scenes for Barton's Women have finally started to dry up. I don't have things in my head related to it that are begging to get out on paper, no fresh ideas or sense of 'this MUST happen.' No, now it's time to read the damn thing--all 116,000 words of it--and start cutting.
something like this instead of a pair of scissors or a sword.