If you wear glasses, you’re familiar with that part of the eye exam when your doctor lowers a phoropter into position in front your face and starts flipping between lenses, asking, “Which is better? One? Or two? One? Or two?”
I finished my novella about seven weeks ago, and immediately started working on what I assumed was going to be a stand-alone sequel. Five thousand or so words in, it occurred to me that maybe I should merge the two short books into a longer one, to make my work more marketable.
So, I cut and pasted and combined, wrote lengthy notes to myself and revised my notes, and forged ahead.
Then yesterday, I spent an hour giving my reimagined novel-in-progress an honest look.
Have you ever seen a movie that veers off in a new direction midway through, abandoning the original story line, and, occasionally, characters, leaving you feeling like you’ve just seen two completely different movies that have been stuck together with library paste? That’s the way I felt reading my draft.
So, now you’re probably wondering why there’s a page from one of Beethoven’s sketchbooks at the top of this post. Well, as you can see, Ludwig scratched out a lot of what he wrote. And I can envision him, at points during the creation of this sonata/symphony/concerto/quartet or that, flipping between pages of his books and thinking, “Which is better? One? Or Two? One? Or Two?”
Sometimes, one is better. And, other times, two are better than one.
(Stowing library paste.)
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