As I write this chapter, I am irresistibly reminded of the fact that, when I came to revise Shadows on the Moon, I ended up having to literally chuck the first nine chapters away (I had printed the whole manuscript out to edit it) and re-write them again from scratch.
It wasn't fun.
Today, I wrote a couple of thousand of words and then realised I had completely forgotten about Important Plot Point no. 6 and the equally important fanservice which I have long promised my readers (to wit, a cameo appearance by Sorin from DotF). Like an utter dolt, I had forgotten to consult my plot diagram and had wandered away down the garden path of story digressions, all the time asking myself why I had a vague sense of unease.
As soon as I realised what I had done, my day's work became useless. Erased. Gone. Every bit of it. I've spent the rest of the afternoon desperately trying to write at least one thousand words so that I can pretend I did something useful today.
I sometimes wish very much that I could be one of those authors who writes things all out of order - because my beginnings, despite all the blood sweat and tears, invariably suck like a toothless ninety year-old with a Mint Imperial. But I can't seem to get to the good stuff, by which I mean the middle and ending, without having gone through the sucky mcsuckerson bits first. It's like, unless I spend nine or ten chapters struggling and angsting and making mistakes, I just don't know my characters well enough to plunge into the depths of despair with them later on.
So...knowing this, do I feel any better about my day of lost work?
Not really, no.