Midwest Musings: Knit, Purl and Pick up Lost Stitches
Amazon’s sale of all Crimson Romance releases during its first year of operation is half over, but there’s still time to take advantage of this temporarily reduced price for the Kindle version. My first book, The Sleepover Clause, falls in that group.
Knit, Purl and Pick up Lost Stitches
A few years ago, when I first retired, a friend of mine thought it would be a great idea to start a knitting club. As a former teacher, she’d shown many a student how to cast on stitches and eventually turn out a recognizable product. I became her new student.
Actually, years before, I had already done a little knitting and mainly needed a refresher course on how to get started.
I am proud to say that I now do a pretty fair job with the knit, purl and stockinette stitches, the latter taking forever to absorb because I kept counting wrong. As a result, I’ve produced some very nice scarves and wash clothes. And one afghan, for my new grandson.
My friend is a purist. She doesn’t believe in wrong stitches. You mess up, you go back and repair, i.e., pick up lost stitches or drop a stitch, depending on your crime. Unfortunately, unless she was around to help me do this, I either had to wait until the next meeting of our group to get help or continue to mess up.
Then one day, when another member of our group had grown tired of hearing me complain of all the redo’s facing me, she gave me a how-to knitting book as a gift. Although figuring out the diagram showing how to pick up a lost stitch required extensive brain power, I finally accomplished it.
Discussion of my knitting experience is preamble to this week’s update on the revision of my current manuscript. If you recall, I recently decided to make a major plot change in order to make my heroine more likeable to readers. I am happy with my decision. I still believe it was the right move to make. That said, I’m also learning how making such a change effects the entire “fabric” of the work. It’s a lot like missing a stitch: though there are techniques for picking up the thread of a certain plot line without total rewrite (like picking up a lost stitch), there are also times when you have to “pull out” rows of completed stitches, or in this case, copy, because if left alone, it would take the plot off another direction.
So far, I’ve deleted two entire scenes. The first instance was the more difficult cut to make; I introduced two tertiary characters (they made sense for the original scene and plot point, but they would then disappear for the rest of the story). I had so much fun writing these characters, but the plot point was no longer necessary, so they weren’t either. I stuck that section in my “outtakes” piece. Sometime, maybe as a blog post featuring deleted scenes, I’ll find a place to show it off. Or I’ll find a home for them in a new story.
The second axed scene was easier to lose as it didn’t add much to the story.
My plan is to finish out the rest of the manuscript checking for plot points that no longer make sense or advance the story and cut as I go. I’m adding new copy, when it’s obvious what needs to happen, and making comments about possible additions that might be needed later.
The “good” thing is that I’ve already passed the point where I stopped my last two revision efforts and threw up my hands because it wasn’t making sense. I’m hopeful I’m going to make it to the end this time. Or maybe I’ll start knitting again.
The Sleepover Clause
And He Cooks Too