Bulldozer Restoration

The gutter needs fixed, and there are new places to patch on the roof. I’m itching to paint a bright color on the walls—soooooo tired of off-white, eggshell, and linen blah—but can’t do that until sheetrock repairs are done. Oh, yeah, and there’s some carpet I’d love to send on a permanent camp-out at the landfill.

Time doesn’t agree with me. Time makes sure lessons of patience are thoroughly understood. So, I inch along such renovations rather than bulldoze through them. I’d rather bulldoze even if it looks messier for a while. But bulldozing usually illuminates some part of a project I didn’t consider or didn’t know was a problem until sub-surfaces reveal their not-so-shiny faces.

A particular writing project—stories set on a world called Kamanthia—seemed an excellent candidate for bulldozer editing. I love the story, the concept, the characters, but I followed some less than good advice. It turned into a thinly disguised sermon rather than a story. And though aspects of that version might be enjoyable for a Christian-only audience, they diminished the impact and explorations of the core story.

Restoration time. Easy peasy, sure. Just remove the POV sequences of the Christian character (I’ll call her S— for now). Restore the story back to the POVs of the original characters living on Kamanthia. Bulldozing went fine as I simply lifted out S—’s chapters.

I hit the first boulder.

Four chapters into the story, a vital scene is/was in S—’s POV. **deep breath** Most of it was dialog—not too hard to shift the POV to R—, the main character.

The next boulder was bigger: an action scene vital to the story, including perceptions in S—’s POV. Major rewrite. Scrolling ahead through chapters, I found more scenes like that. Eeek!

The easiest solution would’ve been to simply pull up an archived file with the original story in it. Except that it’s not possible. The original version is forever buried in an computer that died sadly and badly before I could move or save all its files.

I’m reasonably certain this restoration will result in a much better, more intense story. It would’ve been nice to have the original for reference rather than relying on my own occasionally glitchy memory.
But maybe the loss is for the best. I’ve learned a lot, changed a lot. The original draft’s cringe factor would now register on the Richter scale.

Parking the bulldozer. Inching my way through the landscape of Kamanthia.

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