Friday, July 17, 2009

What If?

I think I must be a masochist.

Here I have a perfectly good manuscript (that, I might add, is due to Berkley September 1.)

It’s completely finished.  I’ve completed two revision sweeps for grammar, typos, content problems.

It looks good.

Plus, I have Pretty is as Pretty Dies coming out August 1. I’m in the middle of phone interviews, setting up blog hosts for my blog tour, and all sorts of mayhem.  As my son said yesterday: “Your book is messing up my life!”

I shouldn’t be doing anything but continuing my revisions by tightening up my writing and finding more errors to erase.  But…

I just can’t seem to help myself.  So I have an alternate document in my computer for my WIP. It’s my ‘what if’ document.

In that document, I explore different outcomes for events.  What if a different suspect committed the murder?  What if there were an additional victim?  What if I added a character and had them do ___________---what would this mean for my sleuth?  And the investigation?

Right now, only small scenes from my what-if additions have made it into the real manuscript. But if one of the storylines I explore is really good, it’ll make it into the main doc. That will mean a lot of revising, but if it works, it’s worth it.

It’s almost as if I’ve created an alternate, parallel universe for my characters.  This alt/doc helps me keep my creative juices going during the dry revision and marketing process, and may provide some additional content for my book.