Rewrites & Revisions: “Imagine”

Hi kids!

If you’ve taken a look at any of the Terrorwood stories recently, you’ll notice that they have cute lil’ disclaimers that look like this:

*Note: Terrorwood is currently being revised and rewritten. All stories in this project are subject to changes at the author’s discretion.

This is basically my excuse for them being slightly terrible. I’m totally working hard on revisions right now, that’s definitely not a lie…

Or maybe I should just start revising them for real? Sure, let’s do it. Starting with Imagine!

Funny thing, I did actually start re-writing Imagine a while back, then life and Fearful Flash Fiction happened instead. So I already have a framework for Imagine‘s rewrite, and here is what that looks like:

  • Clarify
  • Cut
  • Expand

Let’s go into a bit more detail, shall we?

If you haven’t read Imagine in its current iteration yet, then SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.

Clarifying… Well, Everything

Photo by Pixabay on

Imagine is currently hot nonsense.

Because the story itself is incoherent, here is my synopsis:

  • Girl can bring things back to life by imagining what “life” for that thing felt like.
  • Obviously there are unexpected consequences to bringing things back to life, such as accidentally making a fish monster.
  • Despite spending years trying to protect people from her creation (fish monster), girl still can’t resist the urge to brings things back to life, and reanimates the victim of a hit and run accident.

Is this all new to you? That’s because the story explains none of the above! Woo!

Basically what happened is I got so lost in my own idea of the story that I forgot to include key details. Like, y’know, the plot.

To fix this: I’ve created a pretty in-depth outline that checks all of the above story boxes. I’m being a lot more thorough this time around, so the story will be longer but will also make much more sense.

Removing Unnecessary Story Elements

Photo by Plush Design Studio on

Again with getting way too much into my head, I kept adding little story elements that did nothing and were just confusing, like:

  • Girl doesn’t believe her aunt is her real aunt
  • Describing the fish monster gradually over the course of the story
  • That random voice in her head at the end

In my original concept, anything that the girl imagined strongly enough would happen. At one point in the concept, she gets in a fight with her aunt and imagines that the aunt has been replaced with a fake. Then, because of the powers, that happens.

What does this add to the story?

Nothing because that is not the final concept!

Then, those weird italicized descriptors at the beginning of each interstitial mini-story? I thought I was being cool/artsy and building up to the eventual reveal. It didn’t work, and didn’t add anything.

Finally, the random voice at the end telling the girl to “do it” and revive the hit and run victim. Again, this is another holdover from the original concept, where she also had a voice in her head telling her what to do because she imagined that she could hear voices. This didn’t make it into final concept category, but I kept the voices at the end because… reasons?

I don’t know, it’s been a while since I wrote the story.

To fix this: I cut all the random weird unnecessary stuff out entirely. I’m refocusing on a simpler, clearer concept: The girl brings stuff back to life. That’s it, and we’re saying goodbye to anything not contributing to that concept.

Expanding the Interstitial Stories

Photo by on

Again going back to being too much in my own head while writing (it’s a recurring issue). I have this whole background for the main character. It explains why she creates/cares for the fish monster, her weird and tense relationship with the aunt, and generally how she ends up in the final situation.

Why didn’t I include any of this information in the original story? No clue! But I’m putting it in now. I’m taking the time to flesh out the girl, her situation, all of it. The story will be much better for it

And there you have it, my plan for revising Imagine.

I wrote Imagine almost a year ago now, and my writing skills have definitely improved since then. I don’t want to add more stories to Terrorwood until I am happy with what I already have, so I will put what I have learned towards that goal.

Once the revamped Imagine is up, I’m going to take a look at Animals of our Own. Feverdreamland will be last because it needs the most work. It’s also the length of Imagine and Animals combined, and has at least two more parts to it that are outlined but not yet written.

I’m excited to be getting back to Terrorwood, and think y’all will like the new direction I’m eventually taking it in.

See you soon!

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